Jumpy Dolls

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In this activity, learners are challenged to design and construct a jointed figure that moves in a motion (something like jumping jacks) when a string is pulled. Use this project as a culminating activity in a unit on the muscular system, as the doll models muscle and bone movement. Learners can work individually or with a partner and reflect on their work in daily journal entries. This resource includes scoring suggestions for assessment.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
1 to 2 hours

Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • cardboard
  • barbecue skewers
  • straws
  • tubing (air)
  • string
  • low temperature glue guns
  • white glue
  • construction paper
  • pens
  • crayons
  • paint
  • scissors
  • razors
  • dissecting needles
  • hole punchers
  • cork borers
  • Journals


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Skeleton
      • Muscles and Skin
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Kop, Lenore