Thursday, September 3, 2015

Planning an Adventure in Anatomy

In addition to the history group Bishop will be participating in a science group this year.  Together three families will be learning more about human anatomy and physiology.  Bishop has covered this subject matter before but we are hoping to kick it up a notch.  Two of the three families already owned Apologia's Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology so we opted to use this text as our spine.  It is an elementary text but we will be amping it up during the weekly meetings.  We will allow the text to lay the foundation then we will build upon that.  Bishop and I will be using Apologia's Advanced Biology - The Human Body text to help us to do just that.  We will also be using Body by Design as a supplemental text.  As presented in this blog entry we are not great 'follow the textbook' kind of folks so these texts probably will not be utilized the way that others would use them but they will be used nonetheless.  One way or another the information in the Advanced Biology book will be covered before Bishop gets high school credit for Advanced Biology.

Despite the fact that in this blog entry I said that I didn't spend time creating unit studies anymore I must admit that I have spent time pulling together ideas and resources for this group.  I, personally, will not be responsible for presenting each subject matter and their related labs or activities.  This responsibility will rotate among family members.  However, I do have a lot of ideas and resources and have chosen to create a compilation of them here.  This is really for me so that I have this information readily available when I am responsible for a meeting.  In addition, it gives me ideas for things to offer up at home for Bishop and I.

It might be fun to start the whole thing off with this body trivia game and it can be played periodically throughout the year, along with the game Somebody.

Lesson One - Cells to include an introduction to DNA:  I think we should be strive to be adept at identifying the parts of cells and should be able to explain the role that each part plays.  I have cool high color diagrams of an idealized animal cell that we could label.  The Advanced Biology has a highly detailed diagram that we could use a reference.  We could then use this worksheet to make an edible model of a cell (because I do strive to eat my way through science...).  We could then microscopically examine prepared slides of cells, draw them and attempt to identify the parts.  Bishop and I will want to consider reading the relevant chapter in the Biology book, coloring the relevant pages in The Anatomy Coloring Book and Nucleus Medical Media has what seem to be some cool videos on YouTube to check out.  We will view the DVD "Molecular Evidence for Creation."  Also, Bishop and I are likely to explore the subject of stem cells (possibly utilizing this site) and discuss related ethical issues.  We will view the DVD "Cloning, Stem Cells, and the Value of Life."  We will do a basic introduction to DNA and will build an introductory model...edible, of course.  I own the K'Nex DNA kit and hope to build a more advanced model using it.  Transcription and replication is covered in a future lesson so we will keep these activities relatively basic. We can also compare amino acids and DNA of human, gorilla, and horse.  Bishop and I  will view the DVD "The Code of Life:  DNA Information and Mutations."  We have some related field trips in mind.  The Discovery Center has several related exhibits and activities in their lab.  A tour of a DNA lab is also being arranged.

Lesson Two - Skeletal System:  I have these x-rays of the human skeletal system.  We will tape these to a window, assembling our skeleton.  We will count the bones in the skeleton and label the bones.  I have a cool high color diagram of the skeletal structure that we can then each label.  We can compare and contrast bones within the human body.  We can also do comparative anatomy.  I have a great book that has large scale photos of skeletons for a wide range of animals that we can reference.  We can make a bone model then dissect a chicken bone looking for spongy bone, compact bone, etc.  We can color the relevant pages in The Human Anatomy Coloring Book and look at the prepared slide of bone tissue.  We can examine the different types of joints and make clay models of each type.

Lesson Three - Muscular System:  I am still looking for major inspiration for this system.  I know that I want to take a closer look at the different types of muscles (striated, smooth, cardiac) and I want to label the muscular system.  Bishop and I will color the relevant pages in The Human Anatomy Coloring Book and will look at muscle tissue microscopically.  Maybe we will make a model demonstrating how a muscle works and probably we will dissect a chicken leg/thigh.  If we do the dissection we should dissect this bone as well as a review to bone anatomy.  Bishop has also been wanting me to teach him weightlifting.  If we haven't already started now would be a good time!

Lesson Four - Digestive and Renal Systems:  Bishop and I previously used a really great diagram of the digestive system that we needed to label.  I hope to find this diagram again to refresh our memories.  Bishop and I will also color the relevant pages in The Human Anatomy Coloring Book.  Then to emphasize the role of each part of the digestive system I want to set up something hands on, quite possibly this combined with this and this.  It is simple yet I think it would illustrate it effectively.  We will also view this video and possibly this video as well or maybe this one instead.  We will be able to examine stomach tissue and liver tissue microscopically.  We will explore the role that these systems play in homeostasis (  If I can pull it off I would like to set up this activity to give us practical experience with the concept of homeostasis.  And somewhat related, I have a project somewhere that involves making a model of waste water and the ways in which the water is treated (which ties in with the public health issues that we will look at while covering the immune system).  We can even take a field trip to the waste water treatment plant.

Lesson Five - Health and Nutrition:  I wish that I could say that I have a lot of inspiration with this one but I don't.  For me, this subject matter seems to be best covered naturally as we go.

Lesson Six - Respiratory System:  We will diagram the parts of the respiratory system and then. quite possibly, make an edible lung model.  We can also make a lung model using a water or soda bottle.  Bishop has already done this twice so I am not certain that we will do this again.  We will color the relevant pages in The Human Anatomy Coloring Book and will look at lung tissue microscopically.  And we might test our lung capacity as well.  Anything from here could be incorporated as well.

Lesson Seven - Circulatory System:  Bishop and I will be reading a book about William Harvey discovering the circulatory system.  We will do blood typing with each person and then an activity that illustrates compatibility or incompatibility of blood types.  We will make a model of the components of blood, examine a blood smear under the microscope, and play blood cell bingo.  There is also a circulation game that we can play.  We could also choose to play this game during the next lesson.  Bishop and I will color the relevant pages in The Human Body Coloring Book.

Lesson Eight - Cardiovascular System:  I have a model of the heart that we will examine and reference while making an edible model of the heart.  I definitely want to share with Bishop the information about the 'ghost heart', the growing of hew human hearts.  He loves the subject of biotechnology.  The circulation game might need to be played again and we might dissect a pig heart.  Bishop and I will color the relevant pages in The Human Body Coloring Book.

Lesson Nine and Ten - The Nervous and Endocrine System:  The last time Bishop and I studied human anatomy and physiology I loved studying the nervous system.  I look forward to doing it again.  This time around Bishop and I will be reading Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science.  This book has a great description of the parts of the brain.  I think we will make a clay model of the brain as we read these descriptions and label the parts on the model.  We can also make a brain hemisphere hat.  I have a brain puzzle that we can do periodically so as to be able to readily identify the parts and we can play the -ectomy game, which Bishop won every time we played it before.  I think Bishop and I will revisit the stroop effect and possibly play a memory game.  The Phineas Gage book also gives a good description of brain cells, neurons, and how they function.  I have a 'label the neuron' activity that we can do just prior to making edible neuron models.  We also have a neuron game that we can play.  I also want to make a spinal cord model from candy (we loved this activity last time).    We will examine neurons and neuroglia microscopically.  Bishop and I will color the relevant pages in The Human Body Coloring Book.

Lesson Eleven - Senses:
Smell:  We can do scent matching games then maybe, just for the fun of it, do scent painting.

Taste:  We will map our tongues and I, most definitely, want to see if I am a super taster.  And I have to do M Berries with Bishop, I promised him.

Hearing:  We will learn ear anatomy.  We can make a model and diagram the various parts.  We can visit the hearing museum.

Sight:  We will learn the anatomy of the eye using diagrams to label and making an edible model, quite possibly the one that uses a cake ball as the base.  We can explore optical illusions.

Touch:  We can play the mystery box game.  Either they just feel what is in their box and identify it or they feel what is in their box and draw it.  We can do a skin sensitivity test with a homemade caliper.

Lesson Twelve - Integumentary System:  Bishop and I will color the relevant pages of The Human Body Coloring Book.  We will label a diagram of skin and will make an edible model as well.  I also have a file folder game that tests knowledge on the parts of skin.  We will examine the dermis and epidermis and hair follicles microscopically.  If we didn't do the skin sensitivity test while covering touch we can do it now.  We will also cover fingerprints during this lesson.  If I can find my college forensic science book I can give them a really great lesson.  I do want to teach them about arches, loops and whorls.  I want them to be able to identify their own prints and distinguish them from the other kiddos prints.  Now would be a good time to make sure that every kid is printed for their parents files.  There will be younger kiddos in the building as well so maybe the older kids can print the younger ones as well.  We can also have a little fun with fingerprints by making fingerprint figures like Ed Emberley or necklaces with heart-shaped pendants made from sculpey with a fingerprint in the center (a great gift for mom' me).

Lesson Thirteen - Lymphatic and Immune System:  This lesson will also contain a lesson on bacteria and viruses.  I have the supplies (petri dishes, etc) for each kid to grow bacteria for us to examine more closely.  For an illustration on the reproduction of bacteria we can use this paper tearing exercise.  We can also examine bacteria and viruses microscopically (I want to get prepared slides for this although we could make our own).  Even though this lesson is fairly elementary I think it is useful as a hands-on illustration.  I like the idea of making clay models of viruses.  And I like the hands-on approach to illustrating the job of white blood cells.  I found (but have to re-find) a cool video on YouTube of a white blood cell chasing and capturing bacteria.  Of course we need to discuss whether bacteria is always harmful...because its not.  Bishop and I will likely try our hand at making yogurt and other fermented foods.  This unit and this unit both look as if they might have useful information.  Bishop and I will also explore epidemiology and he might as well start his public health merit badge.  Maybe we can do a field trip to some local public health organization.
Okay, so everything stated above is mostly related to bacteria and viruses and I do want to truly cover how the body deals with harmful entities invading it.  This article gives a nice overview of the lymphatic system, although I am certain that the books cover it just as nicely.  There are definitely ideas at this site that could be adapted.  I also want to play this antigen binding game and I would look to do this biopsy simulation and this may be the best time to do it.  I also have prepared slides of tonsil tissue to examine with the microscope.  I also want to discuss how to aid our immune system so I am thinking of a mini health lesson.  I would like to cover this information on free radicals and antioxidants (it will be a good review of cells as well) and then identify what foods are high in antioxidants.

Lesson Fourteen - Growth and Development:  This chapter covers embryology and genetics - should be fun.  I own the movie The Miracle of Life by NOVA (you can learn more about it here).  It is absolutely incredible and I will be watching it with Bishop.  There is quite a bit that can be done regarding genetics and I know that Bishop is looking forward to this subject matter.  We will pull out the K'Nex DNA model set and will go into transcription and replication.  We can do DNA: Codon Bingo.  We might do some of this to learn more about karotypes and genetic disorders.  We will look at human variationspunnett squares (a different punnett square activity) and we can play Genetics: Penny Flip.  We will look at mitosis and meiosis.  There are related worksheets that we can do and we will do the Oreo cookie mitosis illustration and quite possibly this as well.
There are so many options to consider.

And we end it all with a party with cell pizza, veggie skeleton, and more yumminess and fun!

Sound like fun?  I think so!!!

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