Lesson Plan

How to Read a Skull Like an Open Book

Two animal skulls rest on animal pelts.

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes


After completing this program, students will be able to:
1. Name at least three different animals living in Sequoia and Kings Canyon.
2. Identify incisor, canine, and molar teeth in a skull.
3. Describe the purpose of incisor, canine, and molar teeth.
4. Determine if an animal is predator or prey from orbit (eye socket) size, eye placement, and teeth.
5. Find the auditory bullae (ear holes) on a skull.
6. Determine if an animal eats plants, meat, or both from teeth and jaw movement.


Every skull has a story to tell. Have you ever watched a crime scene investigation show? Scientists rely on clues to solve mysteries. Like scientific investigators, we will look at clues that skulls give us — about how an animal might see, hear, or smell — in order to piece together the mystery of the skull. We will look at several skulls and learn to identify the types of animals they belong to.


Download 3rd Grade Word Search Activity

Download 3rd Grade Vocabulary Worksheet

Download 3rd Grade Math Worksheet

Download 3rd Grade Skull Parts Worksheet

Download 4th Grade Word Search Activity

Download 4th Grade Vocabulary Worksheet

Download 4th Grade Math Worksheet

Download 5th Grade Pre-Visit Activity

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Last updated: January 5, 2017