Today, we learned even more about the skeletal system. We started with just a fun book called “Skeleton Hiccups”, by Margery Cuyler. It’s really just a silly story about a skeleton that can’t get rid of the hiccups, but it was a nice way to ease back into our discussion of the human body.
The book we read next is where the real meat of the learning took place. I’ve long been a fan of Steve Jenkins’ Books, and his book aptly titled “Bones” did not disappoint! He has an amazing way of conveying interesting information about the size of different bones of different animals (as well as many other topics) in such a way that’s easy to understand and fun to learn. For instance, did you know that human hand has 27 different bones in it? Or that a snake can have up to 400 pairs of ribs? Or that giraffes have the same number of neck bones as humans? The kids love the illustrations and the pages that fold out are lots of fun, too! Then, at the back of the book are more snippets of information about the facts, stories, history and science of bones. My daughter couldn’t put that part down. She wanted to read every snippet!
Next, we identified some of the major bones of the human body. We labeled them on our worksheet from “The Human Body, Grades 5-8: 100+ Reproducible Activities”. Of course, you could also use the printout from Enchanted Learning to do the same thing. I had my 9yo label the bones with the scientific names (cranium, vertebrae, scapula) while my 7yo and 5yo stuck with the common names (skull, backbone, shoulder blade). They had fun labeling the picture, but the best part was feeling those same bones on their own body. Finding some of them (like the ribs, or hip bones) was a bit ticklish! Then, we grabbed “Joe” (our skeleton model, from “Ein-O’s Human Biology: Skeleton Box Kit”) and took turns naming the different bones we’d just labeled and found on ourselves.
Another lesson down, in about 30 minutes, and the kids are still thrilled to learn more tomorrow! I sent each of them to ‘rest time’ with a human body book of their own to read and report back to us about what they’d learned. I figure they can read the portion of their book about skeletons or bones right now, then read about each other system as we cover it. This way they’re not overwhelmed with trying to read the entire book in one setting, and it gives them a feeling of importance since they’ll be the only one ‘reporting’ back on what their book had to say on the subject. My 9yo has “Ripley Twists: Human Body- Fun, Facts, and Goo”, by Camilla De La Bedoyere. It’s a fun book of trivia about the human body, Ripley’s Believe It or Not style. My 7yo boy has “Under Your Skin: Your Amazing Body”, by Mick Manning. This is a fun book of facts and diagrams, with flip pages that demonstrate what the outside of something looks like, and then you flip open to the diagram of the insides. It’s done in a cartoon-style, so this is perfect for my comic-book-loving-boy. My 5yo has the classic “The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body”, by Joanna Cole. The information isn’t as cut and dry as the other two books, but since it’s told in the form of a story, it will keep my little one’s attention longer.
Tomorrow we’ll look at our chicken bones that have been soaking in vinegar. The kids have been asking to do that every day for a week now! I think they’re looking forward to it…