October 13, 2015

The Human Body Unit

For Second Grade Science, our first unit was The Human Body. I have to tell you, I was not impressed with the curriculum and resources available to my students for this topic, so, of course, I made my own. I made the pieces as we went along and kept adding to this growing project. I am finished teaching this unit, but The Human Body Unit had yet to be posted. So although it is late... better late than never, right?

Ladies and gents, this was definitely a labor of love. I put so much work into this and am totally obsessed with it. I'm actually sad that we are done with this Science unit and moving on because I had a total blast creating, teaching, and experiencing this with my students.

Before diving into the writing and the INB pages, my class and I did a lot of hands-on activities and read-alouds. We read The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body, Parts by Tedd Arnold, and after learning about the brain, we totally learned the song "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz. They loved it! I loved hearing, "Wait, Mrs. Smith! He would NOT be able to dance and sing if he didn't have a brain!" 

I turned to Pinterest for a couple of hands on ideas, especially with the heart and the brain lessons.

Here's my Pinspiration for a timed "Beat the Clock" activity to help kids realize how strong and amazing our heart is! They had a BLAST. I found this idea through Pinterest which led me to The Primary Theme Park blog:

The heart pumps 1.3 gallons of blood per minute! So we got a gallon of water in one bucket for students to try and scoop to another bucket in a minute! I couple of kiddos got close but no one was able to. Of course it was raining outside the day we did this, so we did it inside, carefully on our Superman blanket. Thanks to the Pinspiration above, here's our try below:

Also during the lesson we did on the heart we did an AWESOME and extremely easy activity with our pulse. We put marshmallows on toothpicks, balanced them on our wrists after finding our pulse, and watched the toothpick dance! To spice it up a bit, we did an exercise video and then watched our toothpicks REALLY go wild with our heart rate even higher. The students were amazed at how the toothpicks were moving. Here's the Pinspiration from What the Teacher Wants blog:

And here's our try! I will be doing this every year. It was easy and it really stuck with the kids.

As we moved through the unit, my class did a fabulous job keeping track of their learning activities in their Interactive Science Notebook. I pulled a couple of resources from the Florida AIMS Life Science book, but I made a lot of my own. Check out the photos below. These activities are included within The Human Body Unit on TpT.

We also created "brain hats" which was another Pinspired activity. The students looked so cute walking around with their brains on all day. LOVED IT!

Here's the Pinspiration from Ellen McHenry's blog. The free download for the template is there. The Pinterest photo shows the different sections of the brain. I printed the template without that and the students colored the different sections.

Here's one of my kiddos sporting her new awesome brain hat! Here's what I learned: card stock is WORTH IT; use Scotch tape instead of glue and don't be skimpy on it; print the adult size version because there are some kids with BIG heads. 

HOW CUTE IS THIS?! While we wore them, we read a mini-book from the Florida AIMS Life Science book (Brain Power) and learned "If I Only Had a Brain." I linked the video below. The kids loved it and it was a nice little break from the "work." ;)

Within the Human Body Unit, I included integrated Literacy and Math printables. The writing task cards were a big hit in my classroom and not only allowed me to see if the students understood the human body, but also allowed them to make self connections. There are several full color and black and white centers, including a True/False sort (perfect for practicing for true/false test prep), Word Wall cards (very handy to go with those writing task cards), and some really neat "brain games." Take a look at the preview and larger pictures below:

Check it out in my TpT store HERE or click the image above. I hope you enjoy this unit as much as I did!

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