Medical Mystery PBL for Anatomy & Physiology- Skeletal System

There’s Been A Massive Bus Crash and ALL Our Patients Were Onboard…. Oh NO!

My students get into ANY story~ That’s why they love our PBL projects! We are using our life-sized “stackable” patients throughout the year as they investigate a “mystery” specific to their patient for each body system. At the end, they will be evaluating all the health issues their patient has suffered from, and will diagnose their patient with a large scale disease or disorder (such as diabetes, sepsis, etc) which all of these issues had been symptoms of. These “mysteries” can also be standalone projects as well! For this body system, students had to deal with patient fractures from an imaginary bus crash. Unfortunately for the patient, there were also a couple of skeletal system issues (like gout, osteoporosis, etc) which were identified as they were x-rayed and treated in the ER.

Here’s what we did…

I created a Google slide presentation with the information about our project on it, published it to the web, then followed the link so my slide presentation was in a continuous loop while they were working. If you are curious, you can access a PDF of my Google Slide show here

The first class meeting, my students decided on their job (on the orthopedic team or the ER team), assembled the anterior and posterior skeletons, and labeled all the bones. They were given a Radiology Report specific to their patient that identified the fractures and types that their patient suffered.

Students completed the paperwork and drew the indicated fractures onto their skeletons. Then, they had to draw their patient’s x-rays (to scale). (I FINALLY found a use for the large amount of white colored pencils that I always seem to have left over every year! They are perfect for drawing on black bulletin board paper for x-rays of the bones).

Once they submitted their patient’s Medical Records to the Head ER Doc (aka Me lol), I gave them their ER Discharge Summary. Unfortunately, we found a couple of additional issues (such as osteoporosis, gout, etc) when we were doing the x-rays so all were referred to their family physicians to get these things managed.

Groups were asked to report on these additional “issues” in a debriefing session using either Google Slides or creating an Infographic (such as with For more information about using, see this blog post

To purchase this Medical Mystery Skeletal System PBL (including the basic blank anterior and posterior skeletons that we used), please visit my TpT Store at

If you’d like to purchase the complete set of life-sized bodies we are using, please visit my TpT store at

Individual body systems (& the big bodies that go with them) can also be purchased separately.

Like My Large Diagrams and Teaching Materials?? Need Something New for Your Anatomy & Physiology Classes?

Want a Fun and Engaging Way to Review the Basic Concepts of Anatomy & Physiology? Check Out My NEW Book—Available on Amazon (and in Bookstores 🙂 400+ pages!!

To purchase on Amazon, please click HERE

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About Edgy Instruction

Science Teacher (Biology, AP Biology, and Forensic Science), Anatomy Professor, and former Instructional coach.
This entry was posted in activity, Anatomy & Physiology, Anatomy Practicals- Stackables that Teach, Project Based Learning PBL, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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