Activity 2G: Bone Perspectives

Show students various drawings or transparencies that have been made to illustrate the parts of bone, e.g., line drawings, medical illustrations, or photographs. Then put them away. In this activity students will prepare detailed anatomical drawings of bone using their journal sketches and real specimens. Divide students into groups.

The teacher should place a bone specimen in the center of the group. Have each group member prepare a detailed anatomical drawing of the bone assigned to the group - drawn from their vantage point. Label parts they deem significant.

Have students compare their drawings to those of classmates and to "textbook" drawings. Discuss what makes an anatomical drawing "good." Ideas may center around understanding the perspective of the artist, orientation of the specimen relative to its location in the body, accuracy, detail (too much, too little), view - dorsal, ventral, posterior to…, anterior to…, and so forth. Discuss how useful drawings can be when learning about the human body. Sometimes in their studies, the "real thing" will not be available to students, but a good drawing can help them understand. By having students see, touch, and sketch the real thing, they may become more appreciative of the sketches and drawings in their texts and handouts. Students should also become better able to envision the "dimensionality" and "position" of the object in the drawing that is typically not evident in simple line drawings.

To assist students who feel that their drawing ability is less than adequate, it is suggested that the teacher refer to the book, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain," by Betty Edwards, which provides ideas that tap into everyone's drawing abilities.


Bone, inference, drawing, specimen preparation, career, medical illustration, art

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Activity Code: 
Unit Reference: 
Give Your Bones A Break
Lesson Reference: 
Lesson 2: Architecture of the Skeleton