Thursday, April 25, 2013

Human Body: Respiratory System

We finally got around to doing the next system in our Human Body study – the Respiratory System.   The kids really enjoyed this one since they were able to play with water and make a total mess.

We started off with the kids coloring pictures of the respiratory system, while I read from REAL Science Odyssey and our Science Encyclopedia.   Both colored pages from the Evan Moor Giant Science Resource Book, but George’s was a labeled diagram of the parts of the respiratory system, while Vicki’s was the heart and lungs to be added to our giant body poster.


We then read A Tour of Your Respiratory System (a cute book in a comic strip format, that covered the information quickly and simply, I believe they have them for the other body systems as well)….

A Tour of Your Respiratory System

and from our Scholastic Kids Science Encyclopedia.

I really wanted to build the model of the lungs using a 2 liter bottle, balloons and play-doh from Science Sparks, but no matter where I looked, I could not find our balloons.  I’m pretty sure we still have some around here somewhere……

Instead, we pulled out a couple of paper bags and the kids breathed in and out while holding the bag to their mouths.  The bags expanded and collapsed, showing how the lungs expand and collapse as we breath. 


Then came the fun, messy demonstration.  I found this activity in our Usborne Internet-Linked Children’s Encyclopedia.  We took a bowl of water, a 2-liter bottle full of water (which I found while gathering supplies for the model we could not do), and a bendy straw.  We turned the bottle upside down into the bowl of water, stuck the straw into the mouth of the bottle and blew into the straw to watch the water get displaced by the air.   The idea was to see how much air they could hold in their lungs.  The reality was they kept taking extra breathes so they could see how much air it would take to overflow the bowl of water.


They took turns doing this a few times since they thought it was completely hilarious.  It probably would have been smarter to do it outside on the deck instead of in the middle of my living room.

George then read on his own from Look at Your Body: Lungs and wrote in his “research journal”.   After each of our science or history topics, I am having him make an entry in his composition notebook.  I don’t tell him what to write, or correct it in any way.  I’m just trying to encourage him to write more.  .

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