ES Biology HB: Lessons 4 & 5

We did Lesson 4: The Nervous System several weeks ago. I don’t have much to add because I waited too long to type this up. Bean enjoyed this lesson, and I’m diasppointed that we didn’t have the time to do any of the activities from The Astounding Nervous System.

Human Body in Action: The Brain & Nervous System
All About the Brain: Human Body for Children
Bill Nye the Science Guy: Brain


astound nervous true book nervous

We ended up not doing any activities. Mainly because that week was an omg-I’m-overwhelmed-by-everything-someone-please-save-me! week.


During the second  part of last week (sight and hearing), and the first part of this week (touch, taste, and smell), we did Lesson 5: The Senses.

Human Body for Children: All About the Senses
Magic School Bus Makes a Stink

*Bean read The Magic School Bus Comes to Its Senses.
*I really, really like The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses. It’s meaty without being overwhelming. And it has simple experiments/activities for several of the senses.

msb sensesmsb senses2

We did several of the activities from Janice VanCleave’s Biology for Every Kid:
*Sight: We attempted to watch the dilation of our eyes by holding a hand over one for 10 seconds, then removing it and watching our pupils shrink…but Bean couldn’t quite get it down. You have to really be watching for the movement in order to catch it.
*Hearing: This experiment worked a bit better. We took turns sitting on the floor with our eyes closed while the other person snapped their fingers around our head (in front, in back, on each side, and above). Bean liked this one.
**We didn’t do any of the other VanCleave experiments because I can’t find the book. It’s buried under one of the many piles of books, bags, GS projects, etc… in my computer room. Insane amounts of random piles throughout the house is the story of my life. Drives my husband bonkers.

*Smell: For this sense, I poured a dram of white vinegar, blindfolded Bean, and made her follow me around the kitchen by sniffing for the scent of vinegar.
*Taste: Bean had the inspiration to draw a picture of a tongue, marking out the sections traditionally mentioned for salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. She color-coded the sections and when she tried a taste, she wrote down a corresponding letter showing where she tasted it. The size of the letter showed how strongly she tasted it. Pretty neat idea, I think.
*Sight v2: We looked at several of the optical illusions included in the MSB book. Bean’s favorite was trying to find her blind spot.
*Touch: For whatever reason, we didn’t do anything for touch.
–> *Umami: I forgot to add in last night that we tested for umami as well (the giant U in the middle of the tongue). The book gave mushrooms and soy sauce as examples of umami, so I poured a bit of soy sauce into a measuring cup for Bean to taste.



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