As you may already know, my kids and I have been
exploring the human body this month,
and learning lots of interesting and amazing new things along the way.
Oh, what fun Science is!
It’s the one subject, that when we get going, I have to be really deliberate about watching the clock, or else entire afternoons are gone before I know it.
I’ve also enjoyed this unit and how we have blended science with art. 🙂
Did you know many districts do not start teaching Science until 3rd grade??!
Truly–I was shocked to find this out (just another advantage of educating my kids, my way).
And while they may be young, our little ones are enjoying our Science activities SO MUCH that I really could not imagine holding off until 3rd grade to begin formally teaching it.
So without further ado, I wanted to share our completed
ARTISTIC-style Body Map with you.
This one was nothing but FUN to make with my girl.
[Note: you’ll have to please forgive it’s Valentine’s-y look…it’s that time of year, and after seeing so much pink and red and white glued down on it, one day my daughter insisted that it was a Valentine’s Day human body–so we went ahead and added the heart border (hey–hearts…human anatomy…it works, right?) and we just stuck with those colors for the remainder of the project. Definitely the weirdest Valentine’s Day decorations ever. But oh well.]
My inspiration for this project came from watching THIS great little video, called “Anatomy of a Crafting Project.” I promptly decided we needed to make our own crafty Body Map, and I was so excited, I wanted to start on it right away…
BUT, because my kindergartner really did not yet know a lot about how the human body works and what it’s made of, I thought it would be best to do some formal education and begin with the more realistic Body Map to learn about all the various systems.
(And in case you missed THAT post and all its pics, you can click here to read about it).
This proved to be effective for us.
We learned a TON when we made our realistic Body Map, and when it came time to make our artistic version, I told my daughter we would only include the parts she remembered learning about
(the first body map was highly detailed for Kindergarten level, and included spleen, pancreas, reproductive organs, etc, etc., a lot of which went RIGHT over her little kindergarten head).
HOWEVER, it was awesome to see how much she DID remember and understand!
These are the parts SHE wanted to include on the artistic body map:
teeth, bones, muscles, tendons, spinal cord, brain, heart, esophagus, lungs, stomach, small and large intestines, bladder, and ball and socket joints..
It seemed like every time we went to work on it, she wanted to add more parts!
Both of our Body Maps, side-by-side…with the proud scientist/artist in the center:
I gotta tell ya, if you decide to do this kind of project,
the brainstorming and finding of materials is actually the most time-consuming part.
It definitely took us a little WHILE to come up with materials we could use, discuss how they would work, and then find where on earth they were in our house or art supplies.
Once we had a bin filled with materials, we were able to get things going pretty quickly.
Of course, we paced ourselves, working on it only every couple of days, a bit at a time.
Here is what we used to make ours:
Brain: uncooked raman noodles, cut into the basic shape of a brain, and painted pink.
Spinal cord: white packaging tape, torn into small pieces.
Bones for arms and legs: white construction paper (I drew the basic shapes and my girl cut them out).
Bones for hands and feet: Q-tips, cut apart into pieces–so realistic!
Teeth: Post-It Correction and Cover up Tape, cut into small squares. We used this for the ribs too.
Ball and Socket Joints (at hips and shoulders): small foam balls cut into half–had these left over in our art supplies.
Tendons: rubber bands
Esophagus: red ribbon
Lungs: bubble-wrap to show the air sacs! (bonus: we found it in red at Walmart, which made it more realistic).
Heart: red foam paper (Again, I drew the basic shape and Eden added veins and arteries using marker).
Stomach [and bladder]: balloons –to show how they expand and deflate
Small and large intestines: tissue paper which we rolled up
Muscles: (my favorite part!) Strips of pink fabric–from an old cut-up scarf, which we braided together. Get it–muscle FIBERS?!
As you can see, MOST of the materials used were things you’d have around the house.
The only things we actually had to buy especially for the project were the bubble wrap and a package of raman noodles.
Also, we originally made a different (and super-cool) spinal cord.
Here it is up close:
We used wire (to show how the spine can bend) and Eden cut apart the sections from an egg-carton to show the individual vertebrae. It was a GREAT visual, but unfortunately, we discovered quickly that we would not be able to glue all of the other body parts down with this spine glued down too. So we displayed it off to the side, and ended up using tape to show the spinal cord on the body map.
Once we were finished (total project lasted about 2 weeks, working every few days), I had my little scientist help me label our Body Map. She was able to identify every part correctly, and tell me a little fact about what job it does.
In all, this was a WONDERFUL way to explore the human body.
We still have a few science projects to finish up from our Magic School Bus Kit, but for the most part, we are wrapping things up with this little unit.
Here’s another couple of pics of experiments we did together this month…
bones from a cooked chicken…soaked for a few days in vinegar. The result? they decalcify and become flexible!
|A ball-and-socket joint we created to show how bones are connected|
Finally, to celebrate all we’ve learned, we made BRAIN JELLO.
Eden did all the jello-mixing and we had a great little science-y discussion about solids, liquids and gasses…and where jello fits 🙂
We stuck our watermelon-flavored brain jello into the fridge and waited expectantly for it to be ready.
But in the end, when the jello was turned out from the mold, in all its brain-shaped glory, my girl was utterly grossed out.
She poked at it, she smiled at it, she smelled it, but she simply could not eat it.
“My REAL brain is telling me not to eat it because it looks too gross!”
The boys, however, did not seem to mind, and they gobbled it up happily.
Joshua: “Mmmm, I LUB brain jello!!”
Happy Learning, Friends!