The kiddos (ages 9, 7, and 5) decided that over our summer “break”, they’d like to do some more science along with the light history and math we’ll be doing to keep our minds fresh.  Somehow we landed on the idea of doing a unit study on the human body.  So, I got busy googling, and looking at my local library, and exploring on Pinterest (you can see some of the things I pinned on my Science board here…) to see what fun things I could find.  I was OVERWHELMED!  There’s so much stuff out there.  And most of  it’s really great, too!  So, this will be my way of keeping it all straight, and hopefully helping any of you that are looking to do something similar.

We started today by introducing the idea of studying the human body.  I decided to use Seymour Simon’s “The Human Body” as our spine (haha! Love the pun there!) for the study. So we just read the first few pages that discuss how the human body is made of cells and can be described by different systems. Then skipped a few pages to get to the section on our first system: The Skeletal System.

After reading those pages, and taking breaks throughout to discuss some of the information, we looked at a worksheet I got from “The Human Body, Grades 5-8: 100+ Reproducible Activities” that covers the systems of the body. I love that this worksheet breaks down the systems into categories like the ‘movement group, the ‘control group’, and the ‘energy group’. I think that helps us all to understand better the main function of that system in relation to the rest of the body.

Then, we opened our “Ein-O’s Human Biology: Skeleton Box Kit” and put together the small scale skeleton and skull. The kids were already enthralled with inspecting the details and, in fact, we wound up having a spontaneous discussion about babies’ soft spots on their skull before all the bones fuse together. Gotta love the rabbit trails in active learning!

Finally we went into the kitchen and pulled out the chicken bones I’d saved from a few nights ago so we could do our “Rubbery Bones” experiment. The idea is that you submerge a chicken bone (preferably a leg bone – or drumstick) in a jar of vinegar for several days. After 3-10 days (depending on which source you’re looking at), you can remove the bone from the jar and it no longer feels hard, but rubbery. And, at that point you can also dissect the bone to see the marrow and spongy parts. This will be a fun day, so I’ll keep you updated on that, and the ensuing discussions, which I’m sure will be quite memorable!

That’s it. I think we only spent a total of maybe 30 minutes doing all of this. We’ll do more tomorrow with the skeletal system, but I really wanted to keep everything super light today. The idea being that I keep ’em wanting more! Wish me luck!