Hi all.  I’ve got some SCIENCE FUN to share with ya!
A couple of weeks ago, we started a special little science unit on the human body, which I’ve titled “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” (yes, of course we are putting that wonderful verse to memory as part of our unit, and eventually, the entire chapter as well). 
I was disappointed to find that the K-1 science book we are using this year, has only the teeny-tiniest little section on the human body, which covered little more than the 5 senses [read: DUH. BORING].  I thought, what the heck?  I find that my kids are at the age where they are so VERY curious and inquisitive about their bodies and how they work…you know, that age when they start asking a few TOO many questions about their bodies (AND yours), and things get all…awkward. 
Yup, that’s where they’re at.
Well, anyway, we needed more than a few pages about the 5 senses.  And hands-on is always just the best way to learn, right? 
Hence, the mini-unit on the body–
gobs of interesting and amazing facts, hands-on projects, and cool science experiments–and best of all, it all points back to and glorifies the CREATOR.
And let me tell ya:
This has been SO.MUCH.FUN. not only for my kindergartner, but also for her almost-four-year-old-preschool brother.
We started by checking out lots of books from the Library to do with the human body, its various systems and functions, and for my preschooler, a few on the 5 senses (yes, he still needed the basics).

These we read and talked about and reviewed.  Some had fold-out charts, which were especially great.
My preschooler was totally enthralled with the muscular system and carried around one particular book for a whole week, showing everyone who came by what their “muscles looked like under their skin”–especially interesting to him were the illustrations of the gluteus maximus muscles, for some reason.  😉
While I ordered or borrowed several resources to supplement our unit,
I wanted to share what I found to be the most age-appropriate and worth-while resource of them all:
A download-able and printable e-book called
 The Human Body from Teacher Created Resources.
The cost from CurrClick was $7.99 and I would say it is worth that and more.
(I also loved that I ordered it and did not have to wait for it to come in the mail.  One click, it was mine and we were able to print & get started with our body maps.)
If you’re teaching a K-3rd grader at home, (or if ya have a classroom full of them!) I would HIGHLY recommend this e-booklet. 
Check out what we did with it.

First, I traced the kids’ bodies onto butcher paper
(which I keep on hand for these kinds of projects).

I downloaded and printed all 40 pages of the e-book, and over the next few days, we learned about the various organs and systems of the human body.
As we learned about each part of the body (stomach, for example), I would read aloud to my kindergartner the age-appropriate information included in the book, while she colored, then cut out that particular part of the body.
We followed the order they are presented in the booklet, and glued or taped them as directed, so that once we were finished, you could actually lift the front organs up and see what was behind or under them.
I gotta say I was impressed how it all fit together so perfectly.
Some of the organs we skimmed over, since the level of detail was not exactly geared for Kindergarten. Still, my girl was totally amazed at the wonder of it all. 
“I can’t believe God keeps ALL these things working at the SAME time, Mom!”
Yup. Pretty amazing.
The face and the five senses were talked about and added last, but even when gluing the face down, only the bottom half is pasted, so that the student can still peek behind the face to see the brain, right where it belongs. 
The whole thing is very interactive and really shows how each organ in each system works together so wondrously.
Partly finished body map
My kindergartner would tell you this has been the best part of her school year, and thus far,  has enjoyed every single minute (about 3 days into it, she declared to me with a squeal,
“you’re the best project-mom, EVER” which, I admit–pretty much made my year).
My preschooler also enjoyed making his (more basic) body map, which included the five senses and the skeletal and muscular systems, plus a heart and brain.  That’s about the extent of what he’s able to handle for now,and he did a great job with it.  🙂
Here the little boys are painting faces for their body maps (because coloring still isn’t their thing).
 
(and yes, we did make a tiny (and very simple) body map for the 2 year old, because he was just so daggone excited about it all and wanted to join in.  It was also great fun to let him stick up his eyes and nose and mouth on his own and see where he placed them before big sister stepped in to help him out).

The big baby and his body map.  And yes, I am aware of how super creepy that face is (the one on the right, that is)
One VERY knowledgeable science student explaining how food travels from the mouth to large intestine…and beyond
Once we were done, we reviewed the various systems of the body.
I realized every single system was represented, except for the integumentary system, and since the largest organ of ALL is included in this system, we felt we just HAD to add it to our map.
(have ya guessed it yet?)
We remedied this problem by using finger paint to add
hand and finger prints
to our body maps! nifty idea, eh?
Finally, all systems were a GO!

Here is the kindergartner’s finished body map.

This first part of our unit was a total success, and we still have lots more to do.

I hope you were inspired.

Stay tuned for our artistic human body map which we’ll be working on later this week!

***

Other supplemental materials we are using for our Human Body Unit:

The Magic School Bus: Journey Into the Body Science kit–totally awesome, filled with TONS of experiments and a huge foldout chart of the human body (pictured at right)
We are learning a lot with this kit.

My First Human Body Book –beautifully detailed and informative black and white diagrams (to copy and be used for teaching & coloring).

aaaand…

A brain shaped jello mold (just for fun; couldn’t resist)!  We’ll be making it this week!  🙂

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