Friday, December 4, 2015

Weekly Wrapup: Human Anatomy Skeletal System

Taking a break from US History, we've started in on our Human Anatomy unit. We are using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and so far, I love it! It gives a lot of in-depth detail, with lots of hands on ideas. We are also reading from Sassafras Adventures: Anatomy, because the kids like the adventure story of the Sassafras twins.  The teaching aspect though, is really too high level and rushed, so we use it as an overview/introduction to the system we are studying.  They cover each of the systems in the human body in 2 chapters, with one of the characters usually being an 'expert' that shares information about the various body parts, but I feel like the way it's done, it's all blurted out in a really dense paragraph of scientific detail, thrown in the midst of the adventure story. It's not slowly interspersed, and I think when it's too condensed the kids don't really absorb any of it. So for scheduling purposes, we are going in the order of the Sassafras book chapters so that we can read the story in the correct order, and then skipping around in the Apologia book to use the chapter which corresponds with the system being studied. We are planning about 2 weeks per system.

We started off with the skeletal system, covering joints, cartilage,  bone structure, formation of new bones, names of various bones of the body. Some of the hands-on projects we did were:
  •  a beaded spine craft on a pipe cleaner with sequins in between, different colors represent the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertabrae 

  •  looking at a shin bone from a piece of meat to see the compact bone vs the soft inside
  •  looking at the bones of a rotisserie chicken
  •  looked at paper skeleton that we just happened to have access to because my husband made on back in high school

  • soaking a chicken bone in vinegar to see what happens when the calcium is removed by reacting with the vinegar (the bone becomes soft)
Many of the ideas I'm using for our Anatomy plans came from a Konos user who has posted her lessons on her Free Unit-Study webpage. This is a great resource that we're going to use throughout our unit. 
We also tied in our Chinese lessons, learning the words for various body parts, as well as the word for bone.  Unfortunately, my Chinese vocabulary doesn't extend to words like "osteoblasts" or "cartilage" or "mandible"! 

While we are taking a break from History, I am still reading aloud from George Washington's World, which gives us a brief look at what was going on in the world during various parts of George Washington's lifetime. We are not studying world history in depth right now, but this will give a bit of backdrop to the events of American History that we had recently studied, so later on, when we do world history they will have some familiarity with it.

This post is linked up with Weird, Unsocialized Weekly-Wrapup.