Friday, December 18, 2009

Unit Study: Human Body

This week we started our unit study on the human body.

Starting Out 
I guess we technically started last week. We started simply by reading books on the human body. (see our book list below). This really helped Treyton get some basic concepts and our discussion rolling. Treyton was takin' immediately by the digestive system so that is where we have directed some of our focus. 

To begin our unit this week I decided to get a big piece of paper and outline Treyton's body on it. From there we talked about how part of our body we can see (on the outside) and part of it we can't. We discussed specifically the parts we could see and the parts we couldn't see (brain, heart, stomach).
Treyton asked if he could draw on the picture of his body (on the side), I didn't want to say yes, but we were done with the activity so I said he could and man am I glad I did!
He ended up drawing a simple digestive system, what he thought the brain look like, a spinal cord, intestines, bone and more!!
I was so proud of him, I called Tim to come home for lunch just so he could see it!! I took a few pictures for you all to see.
I have to just add my happy little mom note in here and say - this is why I LOVE homeschooling. This was Treyton, entirely on his own, drawing what he has seen in books and what he has imagined from the questions he has asked us, knowing his body and living life! During this time (which lasted about an hour btw) I was very careful not to correct or add to anything he was saying or drawing... this was a learning moment for me as his teacher - I was able to see what he already knew and what he didn't know. PRICELESS and AMAZING!


Here is Treyton, waiting to be drawn!

 Of course we drew a picture of little miss Lexie too and allowed her to color and draw on her body as well. She LOVED this!
Here is a picture of the final project (hanging on our wall)
This is a picture of the back of the mouth, the tube (esophagus) and stomach 

 I tried to label everything exactly as Treyton was describing it. Treyton isn't always clear so sometimes I had to ask questions, but he was patient with me and explained things to me the best he could :)
It was a very casual activity, but it was kind of like Treyton was the teacher and I was the student.... and I really was... just learning more about him and what he knew and didn't know... how he thinks and how he processes things.... awesome!

  The picture to the right is of your back - we go to the chiropractor regularly, and there is obviously a bone statue thing of the spinal cord, I believe that is where Treyton got this image in his head... pretty good I thought.
 The blue line Treyton didn't know the name of it but he said "it's turny, but not turny, it's bigger than this, I made it small, it makes your food smaller so that it can go into your arm without getting stuck." I was a little confused until he pointed to the lower stomach and said it's right here... he wad drawing the small intestines... he meant "curvy" not "turny" and he was trying to describe food/nutrients going into your blood stream and through the entire body (including the arm!)

 I didn't take a picture of this one, but Treyton's picture actually started out with his weiner - Treyton recently discovered that he has a "ball", it's been the topic of a few discussions around our home lately. So naturally I wasn't too shocked when he drew a little ball and said "a ball in my weiner and then here comes the pee"... and he drew a stream coming out from the "ball"

At the top of the picture (if you click on the finished project you can see it) he drew layers of hair standing up he said "when you get hot, your hair all stands up.... like this" (I think he meant cold) 
It was pretty neat because a day or so later after this happened Treyton was writing our world vision girl a letter and I said "would you like to draw her a picture?"
He said "yeah"
I said "what would you like to draw?"
He said "the stomach or tube or bones" ("the tube" means the esophagus)

For our lapbook this week we labeled a picture of the outside body parts that Treyton knew (he knew them all except for ankle and chest (he called chest something else but I can't remember what now).
We got our picture to label here at first school years.

Treyton also drew a picture of the digestive system (without me asking)... I was impressed. The circle in the middle is the stomach - the circle at the top is a mouth (open)

Field Trip (Kinda)

We've been talking more about the digestive system so far compared to anything else (as you can tell) but we've talked a small amount about our bones... right now Treyton is trying to remember that there are 206 bones in the body - he says "two hundred....." and I supply the 6.
Anyhow, today at the chiropractic office for our appointment I made a point to show Treyton the spinal cord bone thing (does anyone know what that is called?) and he asked what the nerves were (coming out of the spine), what the discs were for, and what the pelvic bone was. It was really nice to have a "hands on" example of some of the pictures we've been looking at. I think it helped him alot.
Living Life
Last week Treyton asked me how babies come out of mommy's bellys? He asked if the baby doctor has to cut open my belly. I told him that sometimes, mommy's have to have a doctor cut open their belly to have the baby come out but most baby's come out of their mommy's private parts (yes, I went with the honest answer here...) Treyton got a strange look on his face and said boldly "I don't believe you!"
I said "okay", cause I'm okay with that for now!

Books We Used
"Me and My Amazing Body" by Joan Sweeney I highly recommend this book for preschool/kindergarten age
"The Magic School Bus Goes Inside the Human Body" Treyton absolutely loves this book, but from a teaching aspect, this book as messed him up more than helped him understand... he keeps asking questions about how the bus got small and inside the body than understanding anything about the human body
"The Usborne Flip Flap Body Book" I love this book, I think that it was this book that has taught Treyton the most - there are three sections - one on Digestion, one on the senses, and one on babies. I have decided to skip the one on babies (for a couple of reasons) primarily because Treyton hasn't asked any questions yet we have answered the questions he has asked simply and he has been happy with that. This book is pretty descriptive... not too descriptive, but it does talk about the sperm and egg, and at this point, I see no need to go there.
"Head to Toe" Eric Carle

Moving On - Unit Study Break Down:
Digestive System


Shannon said...

We checked out a book called (I think) The Egg and The Chick and it was an early reader type book. I was so shocked by the things in this book. It also when into details about the sperm and egg and showed two chickens... IN AN EARLY READER (meant for probably 1st grade level)... yikes! We are not ready to go there either and my daughter just turned nine. After reading it my daughter wanted to know if "daddy pee-ed inside momma to have a baby"... Ewwww!!! Too much for now! Sorry to share so much, but I thought you might be able to relate. I love the way you graciously went into the details of this subject.

It is fascinating to see their minds at work (the drawing.. not the other above).. LOL!

Alexis said...

Good Job Treyton!! (and mom) You guys are really accomplishing a lot!! By the way the back bones are called vertebrae, all together they form the spine, the spinal column is the hole in the middle where the spinal cord is. The discs are little cushion like things between the vertebrae.
And yes it is fascinating to see how their little minds work, to just sit back and let them "teach" you. It was always my favortie part of homeschooling ya'll. Now, you see why tests are no necessary for homeschoolers - you know what they know, what they understand and what they don't. No test can show their accomplishment better than these "let me tell you" moments.
Great Job Guys - Proud to be the grandmother of a 2nd generation homeschooler!!
Just wait it only gets better!!!

Ticia said...

What an awesome week. My kids are obsessed with their bodies as well, but they're more interested in bones. It always amazes me what kids can learn.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Wow! It sounds like you're off to a good start with an interesting unit study.

The girl who painted trees said...

Thanks for this post and your review of body books. It was fun to read his descriptions of the parts. He is learning so much. And so much more than he would at preschool!
Great work!

Kim said...

This is an amazing post. So much learning going on. I love this about homeschooling too! We also love that Usborne book, and we'll go check out the others. Thanks!

Raising a Happy Child said...

It's a great unit! We have Human Body discussions daily - my daughter is absolutely curious about how her body works and knows a lot for a 3 year old. We also had Usborne Flap Book, but it sounds like it was a different one, because it didn't cover reproduction. I am also going with honest answers to "where babies come from" questions, and Anna is very fascinated with the fact that doctors had to cut me open to help her get out.

Ticia said...

Thanks for linking up to my science Sunday!