Darwin Day OsteOlympics

Since today is Charles Darwin's birthday, I wanted to do something fun with my osteology class.  And since the Sochi Olympics are also ongoing, I figured I'd meld them into the... OsteOlympics. (Man, I love a good portmanteau!)  We -- my TA Shevan and I -- held four events in class, and each winning individual or team received a very lovely skeleton-themed prize that I picked up for cheap at an online party store.  Events (and pictures therefrom) are as follows:

Bag o' Bones -- We made up six bags with three bones each: one rib, one vertebra, and one cranial fragment.  Students had three minutes to identify as thoroughly as possible each of the bones... without looking!  They then passed the bag along to another person and then another; this way, we only had to make up six bags for 18 students.  No one got all three bones right, so we gave stretchy skeletons for two correct answers.

Crossteologyword Puzzle -- While students were competing individually in the Bag o' Bones, the rest were completing this crossword puzzle featuring osteology vocab terms we've covered so far this semester.  My original goal was for those who got at least 12 answers right to win a prize. Apparently, the puzzle was too hard and the time given too short, so we gave out participation prizes: skull erasers.

Ben draws the glenoid fossa of the scapula.
Dead Pictionary -- We split the class into two teams. One person at a time from each team came up to the chalkboard to draw whatever was listed on the card s/he picked.  I made cards with vocab like bone, feature of bone, cranial landmark, nonmetric trait, etc.  The winning team received skull stampers.  This was by far the best event of the OsteOlympics, as students got excited about guessing what their teammate was drawing, teasing one another about their drawing skills, and just generally giving me blank looks when I asked them to draw things like diploë and the sphenooccipital synchondrosis. My department chair even stopped by to see what all the commotion was about and participated in one round of pictionary.  Teaching win!

Teams start laying out their skeletons
Who needs an osteologist? -- And finally, we split the class into three groups (since we have three long rows of tables), and gave each team a disarticulated skeleton.  The task was to put the skeleton in correct anatomical position as quickly as possible, thereby bringing shame to everyone who needs an osteologist.  The winning team (who put their skeleton together in 15 minutes with only 4 errors) was awarded femur-shaped pens.  I forgot to get pictures of the laid-out skeletons.  Considering we haven't done the pelvis or any of the appendicular skeleton yet, they were pretty good. I was surprised how many teams, though, had glenoid fossae or acetabula pointed towards the midline.

In the end, every student got a couple packets of bone-shaped sweetarts for their efforts.  Much fun was had by all.  Hopefully, much learning was had too...

Stay tuned because next week, my osteology students craft hyoidkus (haikus about the hyoid, of course), and I'm planning on making them do osteology charades at some point as well.



Popular Posts