To get us started, we watched a few BrainPOP videos about circulation and blood. I found these in the HEALTH section, not the science section. The kids were very enthralled with these videos (they ALWAYS are really) There was quite a lot of information in them, which got us started on the right foot.
Easy Make & Learn Projects: Human Body (Grades 2-4) (affiliate link) book. The idea of this circular disk was to show how all of the organs in the body played a very special part in relation to the circulatory system. I purposefully whited out the info on the disk so that the kids could do the research themselves. Using our health and science books, the students discovered the role of each organ in circulatory system.
We then used the Easy Make & Learn Projects: Human Body (Grades 2-4) (affiliate link) book and created a model of the heart. The kids diagrammed the model to up the rigor a bit. They then placed these in their science journals.
Ellen McHenry's homeschooling website. This is a free download and I am so glad I found it! It took a while to set up and explain, but once they were going, the kids really were into the game. They learned quite a bit about how blood travels through the body and how it disposes of waste. (just a little note, I printed out 5 of these and had each table play. That way, there weren't as many people playing on one game board)
Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition), (affiliate link) but you can get it on YouTube if the school doesn't block it....like mine does) I gave them the words and, combining language arts with science, we looked for all of the facts and opinions (as well as figurative language) in the song. We discussed why the writers would put opinions and figurative language in a song intended to teach us about the Circulatory system. The students decided that it was because without the opinions and figurative language, the song would be B.O.R.I.N.G!
To explore the respiratory system (a bit further, as we really were talking about it all along with the circulatory system), we first diagrammed the organs involved. Then, the students did a little experiment to measure their vital lung capacity (how much air can be forcibly taken in and blown out) and the tidal lung capacity (how much is taken in and out during normal breathing). The kids has SO much fun with this one! They really were surprised at how much air they *couldn't* blow. I think they all thought they would pop the balloons in one breath when, in actuality, they hardly inflated them at all! You can find the exact experiment and printables here.
So there you have it. Our basic introduction to the systems of the human body. Up next is the digestive system. Wish me luck ;)
What experiments have you conducted in your class to teach your students about the circulatory and respiratory systems?
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