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Endochondral Ossification

by Greg Crowther


This jingle, inspired by the mellifluous sound of the term "endochondral ossification," was originally written for Biology 241 at UW-Bothell. Endochondral ossification refers to the process by which most bones develop, distinct from intramembranous ossification.

Ideally, the song should sound reminiscent of early-70s folk-pop along the lines of Carole King and James Taylor.


In the development of bones below the head,
A bone begins as a hyaline cartilage scaffold;
Bone cells enter once the chondrocytes are dead.
Yes, oh, yes, it's a long process, but don't be baffled.

Endochondral ossification:
For hardening and bone elongation.
The steps of cartilage transformation --
They take years and years, so be patient!

Chondrocytes in the epiphyseal plate
Divide, mature, and die in an orderly sequence.
The matrix then assumes a calcified state,
And osteoclasts and osteoblasts become more frequent.


Other Files


MP3 (demo)

sheet music (with melody play-back)

Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using an audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, and/or (B) illustrating it with pictures, bodily poses, and/or bodily movements. The latter activity could begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.

Study Questions

(1) What do the roots "endo," "chondr," and "oss" generally mean? How do these roots contribute to the meaning of the term "endochondral ossification"?

(2) Are there any exceptions to the rule that bones below the head undergo endochondral ossification?

(3) When does endochondral ossification end?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)