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X-Ray Eyes

What’s inside a lizard? Or a cat, bird, or even yourself? Imagine you have X-ray eyes. Show bright bones and opaque organs with Crayola® Color Switchers™ Markers.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist. He found that these rays could pass through many materials that absorb visible light, allowing us to see inside solid objects. For the first time, people could look at the inner workings of the human body, as well as other creatures’ bodies.
    2. Aboriginal Australian people created many beautiful bark "X-ray" paintings of the inner parts of animals, using what they knew about the animal as inspiration. Have students study these paintings for ideas.
    3. Students choose a favorite animal. Use Crayola Washable Markers to outline the creature on white paper.
    4. Students use what they know about their animal’s anatomy and habits to help them. For instance, what does the animal eat? Does it live in water or on land? Imagine what the inner workings of the animal look like. You know that human beings have many organs that they need to survive, such as a heart, lungs, stomach, and liver. Does the animal have some parts that people don’t have? Place the organs in and around each other in the animal’s body.
    5. When finished, students should research the animal’s anatomy to see if they drew the innards accurately.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

    SCI: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Snakes, Salamanders & Lizards (Take Along Guides) by Diane Burns; Nic Bishop: Lizards (Booklist Editor's Choice. Books for Youth) by Nic Bishop; Frogs by Nic Bishop; National Geographic Kids 125 True Stories of Amazing Animals: Inspiring Tales of Animal Friendship & Four-Legged Heroes, Plus Crazy Animal Antics by National Geographic Kids

    Invite a local physician or x-ray technician to visit with the class and discuss how x-rays help us to learn about human and other animal anatomy. Prior to the visit, students write questions for the guest. Afterwards, students post learning to a class blog.

    Students investigate human physiology. Students select a single human system to study in-depth, such as the cardio-vascular system, and sketch how the system works. Use Crayola Color Switchers to illustrate the details of the system.

    Invite students to create an imaginary animal, name it, and construct an illustration of how they believe the animal's anatomy would look. Students share their imaginary illustrations with classmates.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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