User login

Muscle Fibers

Source Institutions


Add to listGo to activity
Muscle Fibers

In this activity about human anatomy (page 20 of PDF), learners investigate the structure of muscles by comparing yarn and cooked meat. Learners will record their observations in a data table and draw conclusions based on their findings. Beef brisket or stew meat should be cooked in advance so learners can observe at least one, 1-inch cube of cooked meat. This guide includes background information, extensions, and a data table.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 12-in. section of yarn
  • 4 toothpicks
  • plastic knife
  • cube of cooked beef (stringy or fibrous cuts such as brisket, flank steak or stew meat work best); approximately 1/2 pound is sufficient for an entire class
  • copies of "A Simple Yarn" student page


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Skeleton
      • Muscles and Skin
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Reasoning and Proof
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, ©2000

Funding Source:

  • NASA, NCC9-58