This is the next set of worksheets in our unit study on the human body. I had started on some of the systems in the body and just wanted to make sure it was finished (Check out the other activities here: Human Body Worksheets). These muscular system worksheets for elementary students are designed to help you teach all about the muscles in your body, at an early elementary level.
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How do muscles work?
Muscles are fibrous tissues that move your bones and the parts of your body. There are two kinds of muscles: voluntary and involuntary. Involuntary muscles are the ones you don’t have to think about to use.
These include your heart (that pumps your blood all over your body) and your stomach muscles (that help digest your food). Voluntary muscles are the ones that you control directly — like your leg muscles when you walk or your finger muscles when you want to write.
Muscles can only pull, not push. That’s why for every movement you make, it takes at least 2 muscles to do. Muscles are attached to both sides of the bone, through connective tissues called tendons.
When you want to move a muscle, it contracts (gets smaller) and that pulls on the tendon, which then pulls on the bone. The opposite muscle will relax, stretching out. Then to go back, the 2nd muscle will contract while the first relaxes.
Think of muscles like slightly-stretched elastic bands. There’s a certain amount of tension in them that keeps them ready for use.
When you move, they pull back on that tension to move your body. If a tendon snaps, your muscle becomes loose and limp. Or if there’s a tear in the muscle, it stops working as well.
Unlike elastic bands, the more you stretch your muscles, the stronger they get. So they have more tension that keeps them ready, and it takes less effort to do the same stretches.
And that means then that the same amount of effort can do more things — you can run farther, jump higher, or carry heavier things!
Recommended Muscle System Books
Learn more about how muscles work with these great books. You can get more detailed coloring, and really see how muscles look, or learn more about how different muscles do different things.
And bonus: your kids can exercise their muscles by carrying those books for you!
PartsHuman Body Systems Coloring Book: Human Body Systems Anatomy Coloring Book For KidsMuscles: Our Muscular SystemUnderstanding the Human Body: Human Anatomy Made Easy for KidsInside Out Human Body: Explore the World’s Most Amazing Machine-You!The Fantastic Body: What Makes You Tick & How You Get Sick
I love using coloring pages for learning new science vocabulary. First they need to identify the correct part and they have to ensure they only that one part without coloring any others.
Then when it’s complete, you have a wonderful representation of what they’ve now learned and they can use it for reference if needed.
Recommended Muscle System Kits
Muscles are great to explore with hands-on kits. Here are are few of our favorites.
Be Amazing! Toys Interactive Human Body Fully Poseable Anatomy Figure – 14” Tall Human Body Model for Kids – Anatomy Kit – Removable Muscles, Organs and Bones STEM Kids Anatomy Toy – Ages 8+Learning Resources Anatomy Models Bundle Set, Brain, Body, Heart, Skeleton, Classroom Demonstration Tools, Teacher Accessories, Grades 8+, Ages 3+Build the Human BodyFamemaster 4D-Vision Human Muscle And Skeleton Anatomy Model Multi-colored, 10Muscular System Anatomical Poster – Laminated – Muscle Anatomy Chart – Double Sided (18 x 27)
Download your muscular system worksheets below
Liked these muscular system printables? You can get more science lesson ideas below.
>> See more Biology Worksheets for Elementary Students ideas
Another Muscle Activity
More Human Body Worksheets
My Body Science Booklet by Totschooling