Teach

Create

Read

Complete Human Body Unit


I am so excited to introduce you to one of my favorite units of ALL TIME. Without exaggeration, this is one of my favorite topics to study with the primary grades, and I'm always amazed at how excited and engaged the students are throughout the whole unit!

This unit includes lessons about the heart, blood, brain, lungs, muscles, bones, skeleton, stomach, and intestines. Each lesson comes with instructions for a hands-on activity, and seven of the topics include one of the booklets below.


I won't lie--assembling these booklets takes a minute, but as a teacher I've found that I prefer investing time before a unit to put together bigger projects that I get a LOT of mileage from, rather than stringing together a bunch of smaller activities as I go. These booklets have so much potential for extending students' learning and tying into Common Core standards about non-fiction texts and expository writing. Here's a little peek into the booklet about the heart, which will give you an idea of what is in each flip book.


 Every booklet in the Human Body Unit has five sections: Describe it, Find it, Read it, and Share it.


In the Describe it section, each student essentially makes her own anchor chart to keep as a resource to highlight key facts.  Younger students can practice using adjectives to describe what a real heart looks like, while older students can include facts they've learned from a more detailed chart made together with their class.


In the Find it section, the students color in the heart's location in the human body. This is to prepare them for one of the highlights of the unit: making a life-sized paper model of the human body! I'll touch on that a little more in a minute.


Next is the Read it section, which gives rich facts about the heart in simple, kid-friendly language. This is a GREAT opportunity to mix in some Close Reading skills with science! In my classroom, we do several readings of an article to practice our Close Reading. On the first read, choral read a text all together as a class. On the second read, students partner up and use highlighters to highlight important facts. On the third read-through, students read independently and make annotations with a pencil, circling "stumper words," starring key ideas, writing questions and comments in the margins, etc. I've watched this gradual release of responsibility help my students slow down and really comprehend what they are reading. Getting to use highlighters doesn't hurt, either. ;)


On the last page, the students reflect on what they learned during their Close Reading. My kids need all the practice they can get learning to identify and use evidence from a text (this is SUCH a critical concept!), and these booklets make it easy!


While I designed the human body packet to include one booklet per lesson, assembling and working with the flip books could easily be extended into a couple of days of learning! 

Below is a picture that showcases my FAVORITE part about this unit. This packet is not worksheet-based. Each science lesson comes with complete instructions for an engaging learning activity. In the photo, you can see a model of the digestive system that the students walk through while eating their snacks to understand the sequence of events for our digestive systems. (Yes, I realize how gross that sounds--ha! The kids love it, though!) On the walls are paper cut-outs, traced for each student at the beginning of the unit.  As we learn about a new body part, we add it to the paper outlines in the hallway. (The supplies for this are also included in the packet.) We left the bodies up for Open House Night, and the kids were THRILLED to share these with their families!


If you want to check out a more detailed preview of this unit, you can visit my store to take a closer look. In addition to the science content, I also created morning work, literacy centers, and writing activities that are all about the human body. These kinds of details aren't lost on students, and I've found that the kids are always so excited to have their morning work or literacy centers line up with their science lessons. It's a fun way to bring a theme into other subject areas and reinforce the big science concepts the students are mastering.


Have you done a similar human body unit with your class? I would LOVE to hear about it!


No comments