top of page

Rationale: To understand the anatomy of a condor and compare size, students will create a life-size representation of a condor.

Time: 1 Day lesson; Approx. 1 hour teaching time

Aligned Standards: NGSS Practices 2 and 5; CCC 1 and 6; DCI LS4.C: adaptation

Materials: Straws, pencils, popsicle sticks, tape, glue

Biology B - Amazing Anatomy II

Warm Up: 10min– Students look through a group of x-ray images and representations of condor skeletons.


15min– Students (in groups or as a class) are given materials and instructions to create wing bones. As the teacher circulates, they facilitates conversations about the size and density of bones, flight, the hollow nature of bird bones, and vocabulary.

At each table group, put out popsicle sticks, straws and pencils.  Have students examine each item and discuss their differences in their small groups.  After about 5 minutes of discussion, have each group share their observations with the rest of the class. 


Direct the class to the life-sized representation of the Condor on the wall.  Ask them which material they think the Condor’s bones would be similar to and why.  Accept all answers and validate each student’s reasoning.  Address flying birds (condors) vs. diving/swimming birds (penguins) for hollow or dense bone needs. Be sure to end the discussion with the focus on size and mass.  Many big things are heavy, but what can we think of that is large, yet light? (Balloons, Pillows, etc.)  The item with the least mass is the straw; therefore, the large Condors can fly better if their bones are like straws. Show X-Ray images.

Have students take out their field journals and sketch the skeletal system on paper. 

20min – 40min— Students work (in groups or as a class) to create a skeleton for their condor.

Getting back into their groups from lesson A, the groups will use straws to represent the skeletal system in the body part they sketched during lesson A.  Have the students tape the straws onto the paper (with as much detail as possible) before gluing them down.

X-Ray Photos

bottom of page