As you may already know, we spent the entire month of February studying human anatomy and the body systems using The Good And The Beautiful Curriculum. I shared Part 1 of our lessons, activities, and resources 2 weeks ago. If you haven’t checked that out yet, go give it a read to see how we eased in with the skeletal system, muscular system, organs, and digestive system.
The second half of the month, we learned about the circulatory system, respiratory system, urinary system, nervous system, and cells.
This was so much fun to dive into! First, we talked about the difference between oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. (Side note: did you know deoxygenated blood is NOT blue like we were taught in school, and it is in fact, dark red-almost black). We busted out our test tube rack and used food coloring to represent arterial and venous blood. Then I whipped up some quick fact cards that the kids read and placed in front of the corresponding blood type. This was a fun review after reading from our curriculum and going over definitions for this system.
We also labeled the chambers of the heart as well as the main veins and arteries throughout the human body. Coincidentally, our monthly STEAM class this week was all about the circulatory system! (I did not know this in advance) The kids used math to time their own heartbeats, created a model heart valve, built a blood vessel containing white and red blood cells as well as platelets. Such a fun and well-rounded lesson!
For this study, we read a lot of facts from our Usborne books and more! My son took it upon himself to build a LEGO model of the trachea, lungs, heart, and diaphragm.
I’d say you definitely know your children are receiving the information well when they can reproduce the information in a visual form with no instruction from you whatsoever! This is a wonderful testament to The Good And The Beautiful curriculum and the format of unit studies in general!
The Brain and nervous system are personally, my favorite body system to learn about. There’s so much information to learn and it’s fascinating to think about how the brain controls and sends messages to our entire body!
The kids used these wonderful info cards + poster worksheet from Colorfullllstudy to color and label the parts of the brain.
We got hands-on by making a model ice brain and using salt to melt it as well as growing our own brain (thank you Halloween Target Dollar Spot activities)
Because my kids are young, we didn’t dive too deep into this unit. But, I did explain that cells are the building blocks of life and they built a model play dough cell and labeled the parts.
Information like this can be introduced repetitively from a young age so that when kids are old enough to fully comprehend the importance and function, they already have a foundation. It’s my belief that it’s best to build up to complex concepts through many engagements over time. You’ll be surprised what children can understand at a young age and what they’ll retain and remember the next time to you expose them to the idea!
Thanks for following along with our Human Body Homeschool unit study! What are your favorite resources for teaching elementary ages about human anatomy? Leave a comment below!