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Anatomy & Physiology

Posted by on Feb. 28, 2009 at 6:15 PM
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Believe it or not, I've not always been a science geek. It wasn't until college that I lost the fear of science and math and learned to look at it like it was a fun puzzle. Which it is. This is one of the main reasons I teach science so enthusiastically - I don't want my children to be made to feel stupid because what the school book was putting down didn't make sense to them. I wanted to make science fun yet approachable...I want to present it so it just makes when to use a period vs an exclamation point. So I make sure to teach it early and in new and exciting ways....heck I even learn as I'm going...LOL..

One of the fears I think many HS parents have of science are the Latin/Greek terminology. We (most of us) weren't taught the language so we have terms we don't fully understand and are just told this is this....I'm not a fan of wrote memorization. lol.....Anatomy just means (from

  1. The bodily structure of a plant or an animal or of any of its parts.
  2. The science of the shape and structure of organisms and their parts.
  3. A treatise on anatomic science.
  4. Dissection of a plant or animal to study the structure, position, and interrelation of its various parts.
  5. A skeleton.
  6. The human body.

So, really you're using Anatomy far more often than you probably thought. Every time you pick a flower to show your child and talk about it's color or shape and how it grow you're discussing the Anatomy of the flower....sure discussing the cell structure and hydroponics are also forms of Anatomy, but for Preschoolers you can keep it simple and still explore these seemingly more complex terms.

This post is dedicated to some of the lessons on how I aproached Human Body Anatomy (I'll do separate posts for Animals and Plants). Keep in mind I do a lot of Lapbooking as a means of compiling the information my kids learn, how to reinforce it, how to have everything in one place so they can come back to it later on for reference.

by on Feb. 28, 2009 at 6:15 PM
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by G.O. Shannon on Feb. 28, 2009 at 7:30 PM

5 Senses:

So we did our lapbook on the 5 senses, we also did some songs and poems where the senses were discussed. This entire project lasted about a month with a 'sense' a week (just about). I should also point out that we do one major concept a week, and I'll build other lessons around that concept so that we cover all the major subjects (math, vocab/English, Geography, History, etc) 

  • 5 Senses -  lapbook
  • I used some printables from here
  • We also used small ZipLock baggies and we labeled each: I Smell (a cotton ball with my purfume on it); I See (we cut a small hand mirror out of cardboard and glued on some aluminum foil) I Taste - we tastes 4 different things (salty, sweet, sour, tangy). I Feel - I used a small piece of sanpaper.  I Use My 5 Senses  - we talked about how we used our 5 senses, and my son drew pictures of things he used his senses to determine what they were - a face (emotions), an animal (how can you tell one animal from another), a flower (is it soft, it's scent, etc).


  • Texture Painting using Tempra paint (one color) along with coffee grounds, salt, sand/dirt, crushed leaves, corn meal, pulled apart cotton balls, etc.  - Xander had to mix the paint with each of the textures, seperately. Then he had to pait on some butcher block paper, using each of hte textures (we did like 5  if I remember right) - Then, when dry, he had to close his eyes and see if he could say which 'texture' was used to make that texture. He then had to  describe the textures. {we did adjectives that week as well, so his descriptive words were also our vocab of the week....soft, bristly, hard, etc).
  • We also made a Texture Mini-book. Xander had to search the house (and think of things we could easily get) that had different textures: Soft Sweater (which we took a picture of for the mini-book), Rough Sand Paper, Smooth Aluminum Foil, etc. We glued them one to a page and then I helped him write the vocab word that best described the texture under the item/picture. I also folded up the painting and glued it in as the last page.  I then added the Mini-book to the 5 Senses Lapbook.


  • Vocab - 4 major tastes the tongue can taste: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, we also had Tongue, Mouth, Teeth as vocab words.
  • We discussed that we taste things with the little bumps on our tongue called Taste Buds. And that taste buds are grouped together in the front, sides and back of hte tongue. Tongue, Taste Buds,
  • Taste Test: this is a fun game, especially if you have more than one child. We made a small bar graph (early Math Skill) to chart the observations. Have small samples of various foods on a plates and cups on the table. Don't let the children see htem. Blind-fold the child telling them they're gonna use their vocab words to describe what they taste. The other child facing away - so they can see, or else you can record their findings on the chart which they can color in later.  (lemon wedges, lemonade, pudding, unsweetend cocoa, sweetened cocoa, chips, etc)
  • Tastes Around The World: for the week that we're studying taste, I found several recepies from around the world that really showed how their food differed from ours in taste. We talked about how spices are grown in different parts of the world, and how the way people cook also differs (I try to have the kids help me cook to see these differences, if possible). We talk about how spices really make a difference in how things taste, and they chart descriptions of the various foods they tastes.
  • Tastes across History: Using New England (since that's where we live) as our focus, I found different recepies that span the history of our area (including a couple of native American recepies) and we talked about how before planes and faster boats, the only seasoning available was grown in their gardens. We talked about what the difference was between the Pilgrims food and ours.


  • Vocab Words: more adjectives. This week encourage the kids to use different words than smells good or bad.
  • We used this to learn about the sense of smell, and this to identify the parts of the nose.. We also learned about how you can't taste without the sense of smell and that if your hungry your sense of smell grows stronger...and girls smell better than boys.
  • What's That Smell? This is like the taste test. You need a bunch of containers you cant see through with little holes poked in the top. Inside each should be something smelly. The kids use their vocab to describe what they smell and then try to identify what's inside. Smelly things can be lemons, bananas, orange peel, pine needles, a cotton ball soaked in perfume, chocolate, coffee, dirt, vanilla, garlic, onion, mint, vinegar, rose petals, pencil shavings, peanut butter, or ginger


  • Vocab:
  • The Ear: diagram,
  • Whistle Game (best if used with more than one child) one child takes a whistle and hides somewhere and the other has to find them from the sound.
  • Sound Waves - to learn about sound waves we covered our ears. Our hands block some of the waves. With the child's back to you use different items to make a noise. With their ears covered see if they can identify the sounds.
  • Listening Hike: This is so much fun when the weather is good. We go for a walk, each with a notebook. While walking quietly we write (or in my son's case, draw) what we hear (wind blowing, birds, etc).
  • Song: Did You Ever Hear a Bell Ring
  • Did you ever hear a bell ring,
    A bell ring, a bell ring?
    Did you ever hear a bell ring?
    Ding, dong, ding, dong, ding.

    Did you ever hear the wind blow,
    The wind blow, the wind blow?
    Did you ever hear the wind blow?
    Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish.


  • Vocab
  • The eye, about the eyes, all about tears.
  • Red White & Blue Experiment
  • The Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Did You See? Then we looked out the window and the kids wrote/drew what they saw.
  • We did the little minibook: Sight & Sound to add to the lapbook.
  • Site Word Bingo! The words we've been working on year round (totally separate of the 5 senses project) I make up Bingo Boards with pictures for each sight word. I write the site words on blank cards. Then I flip up a card. The kids must read the word and cross off the appropriate picture. 
  • We also did a lot of Where's Waldo type puzzles.  
by G.O. Shannon on Feb. 28, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Nutrition: When teaching a preschooler anything the key is FUN, FUN, FUN! Here are some ideas for teaching Nutrition & Health:

  • From The Homeschool Mom i printed a weekly menue so the boys can help me plan a healthy diet for the week that we work on the lapbook.
  • From The Heart Foundation For Kids I found some Go For Kids printouts on Water
  • From Captain 5 A Day I found great information on Vegetables and Fruit (they also have activities on Hand Washing and such that I used in our Germ Lapbook) There are also some great activities at Dole 5 A Day, And here's some great online stories for kids!!
  • Here's a great list of Links for teaching kids Nutrition!
  • For finding our about nutrition or activities you should check out KidsHealth. They actually have an article for each age group - with ideas on fitness levels. I printed one for each child's lapbook and we made index cards.
  • Nutritional Explorations - kids explore nutrition in this interactive site.
  • TOTALLY INCLUSIVE Nutrition Guide for your kids.
  • Also here's a Nutrition Lapbook guide, and here's another.
  • Easy Fun School on Nutrition mini-unit 
  • And of course to understand the Food Pyramid check out My Pyramid and Pyramid Food Guide
    by G.O. Shannon on Feb. 28, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    Genetics & DNA

  • To introduce the idea of Genetics I made cards that looked similar to these (as they were out of my price range). Essentially I took a picture of my husband and myself, well 2 pictures. I expanded them. Then printed them. One of each I cut out the features (lips, eyes, ears, nose, hair). Then I had a blank head I had drawn. The kids got to make a guess at what our next child might look like....then we took a look through the family albums to see where mom and dad got their features...and how DJ got red hair when neither mom nor dad have red hair....(but his great-great-grandma did -- recessive genes!!) We also made a Family Tree - to look back at features in those who came before us...
  • There are 2 main biographies - Darwin (Wiki) and Rosalind Franklin 'The Dark Lady of DNA' (Wiki) of darwin (1,2)  and franklin (1, 2)
  • Then to understand the Ladder of DNA - we made A MAP OF ME - where we listed those things that made us individuals (even those inherited trates) == (I'll upload my PDF later)....I made a Ladder then on each rung we wrote those trates...including our medical information (allergies, DJ's Colitis, etc).
  • We also introduced the concept of evolution -- if you're looking for a great understanding of the concept for you. the teacher, you'll find it here! Also here you'll find an easy lesson plan on evolution -- The boys checked out PBS' online videos  on understanding Evolution. I also briefly explained the Tree of Life project how it's like we made our family tree to understand Genetics, Biologists around the world are branching their studies of phyllum together to see where they connect! For older children this site is great for comparing the major beliefs in the Orgin of Life (evolution, creationism, etc)
    by G.O. Shannon on Feb. 28, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    We also did a separate page on First Aid.

    by G.O. Shannon on Feb. 28, 2009 at 7:34 PM

    Then We also did a lapbook on the Human Body

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