Holidays are the perfect time to engage your students in experiments and activities that are a nice break from the normal curriculum, but still valuable learning opportunities. On this post, I will share a Thanksgiving science activity involving bending turkey bones!
This is more of a demonstration than an activity and will take a few days (2-3) so make sure you plan accordingly so your students can see the results before leaving for Thanksgiving break.
Step 1 : Read the text about bones (available for free at the end of this post) and discuss the questions about whether bones can be bent. The purpose of the reading is to build background and generate interest in the activity.
Step 2: Prepare your materials. You will need a bowl, vinegar, various sizes of chicken and turkey bones (Wing and leg bones tend to be the best for this experiment).
Step 3: Pour the vinegar into a bowl.
Step 4: Place the bones into the vinegar.
Step 5: Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap.
Step 6: Leave the bones alone for at least 48 hours.
Step 7: Remove the bones from the vinegar and rinse them in warm water.
Step 8: See if you are able to bend the bones. If not, place them back in the vinegar for another 24 hours.
After the experiement, have a discussion with the students as to why this happened. If needed, remind them that they learned that the hard layer of bone is made of calcium. Here is the reason to help guide your discussion: Vinegar is a mild acid and is able to dissolve the calcium in the bones. Calcium makes bones strong, so after the calcium is dissolved, all that is left is soft tissue.
Want more Thanksgiving activities to use in your classroom? Click on the links below!
This post was created in collaboration with A Stults.