Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Skeletal System
The Spine

Skeletal System
Skeletal System

The Spine
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5

     challenging words:    coccyx, lumbar, sacrum, thoracic, vertebral, thickness, therefore, vertebra, spinal, entire, fuse, cartilage, lower, actually, spine, atlas

The Spine
By Jennifer Kenny

1     Your spine consists of many vertebrae. There are 33 vertebrae in kids and 26 vertebrae in adults, to be exact. These vertebrae fit on top of each other, interlocking, to form your spine.
2     A vertebra is round in front. It has bony spikes on the sides and back. Attached to the spikes are muscles and ligaments. The spine is held together by the ligaments. The muscles support the spine and allow it to move.
3     Below each vertebra you will find cartilage. Cartilage actually makes up about 25% of the spine's length. The cushion of cartilage acts as a shock absorber. Don't forget that your spine takes a lot of strain as you move, sit, and stand. In fact, due to the pounding your cartilage takes all day, it actually compresses during the day like a sponge under pressure. Therefore, you are a tiny bit shorter at bedtime than when you get up in the morning. Overnight, the cartilage recovers its thickness while you sleep. The same can't be said when we age, though. It gets harder for the cartilage to recover as you get older. That's why adults do get shorter as they age!

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

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Skeletal System
             Skeletal System

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    Muscular System  
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    The Five Senses  
    The Human Body  

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