Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Unit Study: Human Body - Bones

Treyton and I were both excited to move on to a new topic in our human body unit study. We chose to do bones next, primarily because Treyton was eyeing up a plastic skeleton that came with one of our books that he really wanted to put together.

We read lots of books - one of our favorite ways to learn - we started with the book with the skeleton called "Body IQ" which is part of the "IQ Activity Sets" - it also came with a game that Treyton wanted to play over and over. A great fun way for him to learn!

We read only the bone sections of our other Human Body Books including "Science and Your Body", "See Inside Your Body", "First Encyclopedia of the Human Body", "Your Insides"

Treyton and I used the skeleton picture to put it together the first time. Since then, Treyton has put it together twice on his own with only a few minor mistakes (like turning the shoulder blades upside down or exchanging the femur and the shin bones... whatever that one's called).

We did a couple of fun bone "experiments" 

Joints: to illustrate joints I took two of Treyton's wooden blocks and put a piece of tape on them to create a "one-way hinge" - I then explained that a joint is what helps two bones to bend, like in your elbow. He asked what the tape was... I said 'a ligament'... is that right? (Oh my goodness, I so do not know enough about bones!)  (I found this experiment in a book we got from the library called "Play and Find out about the Human Body" I recommend this book - it's lots of fun!)

Bone Strength & Dissection: We took three chicken bones from dinner the other night and cleaned them off real good - just this was great because Treyton got to feel a bone, and cartilage - he really got a lot out of just looking at the bones, but what we were really doing with them was creating "rubbery bones". We put one of the bones in vinegar (it's supposed to be there 8 days) and we will take it out each day to see what is happening - supposedly it gets soft/rubbery because the vinegar dissolves the calcium of the bone... I also read somewhere that after three days you should be able to break one of the bones by hand and Treyton will be able to see inside of the bone. This experiment is not completed yet, so we will update on what we find later! (We also found this experiment in "Play and Find out about the Human Body")

Lessons Learned: 
* The biggest bone in your body is your thigh bone (femur)
* The smallest bone in your body is in your ear
* There are about 200 bones in our body (206 to be exact)
* Milk makes our bones strong (I tried to get him to understand it's calcium... but it didn't "take", oh well, milk works for now :)) 

We filled out some bone facts to put in the lapbook (I just cut out small bone shapes from different colored construction paper), and also filled in the 'How Many Bones?' flap.

We may continue to read a little bit on bones, but I'm pretty happy with what we've covered with bones so we will probably move on to the next subject... which may be a very small section on lungs. (I wasn't planning on covering lungs at all but found a cute book and experiment so we may take a day or so to do that!)


Ticia said...

Awesome, where'd you get the skeleton he put together?
Would you be willing to link this up to my Science Sunday on Sunday? You've got a lot of great ideas in here to share.

Kim said...

What a great study of bones! I love the way you taught about joints.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Excellent bone study! I hope you'll post how the rubbery bone experiment turns out - I've eyed that one before, but wasn't sure I wanted a container of vinegar and chicken bones on my counter that long.