This week we did our first lesson in the human body unit of Elemental Science Biology – Lesson 1: Basic Building Blocks. I am much more enthused about this than the animal study, but that may be because this is something new. I really would like to actually do the activities and experiments that go with each lesson. I feel bad that a good chunk of our science lessons to date is reading. I want Bean to have a hands-on experience, but at the same time, I don’t know how to squeeze it in. Moving on…
I split this lesson into three days. The first day was an overview, the second covered cells, and the third covered skin and hair. We read the corresponding pages in the First Human Body Encyclopedia.
Human Body for Children: All About Cells and Body Systems
Magic School Bus Goes Cellular
*While reading various books to Bean, she colored the corresponding pages in My First Human Body Book.
Yes! We actually did some activities this time!
For the cells portion of this lesson, we made an edible animal cell. The original idea came from Enchanted Learning, but we copied this project. I didn’t want to wrestle with a ziplock baggie, and really liked the idea of putting the jello in a pie pan.
I printed out a sheet that labeled the individual parts of the cell and wrote underneath each label what food item we used. Bean declared this project a winner. (and she snacked on the jello cell while listening to her bedtime story)
Cell Membrane – Pie Pan
Cytoplasm – Jello
Nucleus / Nucleolus / Nuclear Membrane – Plum and its pit
Lysosome – Orange M&MsVacuole – White Jelly Beans
Mitochondrion – Dried Cranberries
Centrosome – Black Jelly Bean
Rough ER – Green/Yellow Gummy Worms
Smooth ER – Red/Pink Gummy Worms
Ribosomes – Sprinkles
Golgi Body – Spaghetti
For the skin portion, we did two experiments. The first one was about sweating and how it cools us down. I blew on the inside of Bean’s arm. Then I wiped some water on it and blew again to show that it was colder because the water was evaporating. This helps cool you down when you’re too hot.
The second skin experiment we did was to make copies of our fingerprints to see what type we have (arch, whorl, or loop). I rubbed pencil lead onto paper, then rubbed our finders into it and lifted the print off with a piece of clear packing tape. I stuck the tape to our experiment sheet so we could compare our prints.
Our final skin experiment showed us how the ridged on our fingers help us grip objects. I put tape over Bean’s thumb and index finger and had her try to pick up her pen. The only time she could actually pick the pen up was when part of it got stuck to the edge of the tape.