We’re really enjoying learning about the human body as part of our REAL Science Odyssey Life (level 1) curriculum. The combination of the hands-on activities in the curriculum, great living books and the wonderful resources available on YouTube really brings the human body to life (ha ha!).
Today we found out about blood. We made a model of blood using half a cup of vegetable oil (for plasma), half a cup of red kidney beans (red blood cells), five butter beans (white blood cells) and a tablespoon of dried lentils (platelets).
All stirred up in a jar this was a great way of learning how, although blood looks like a homogenous red liquid, it is actually made up of several different components, appearing red because of the red blood cells. We talked about what each component does.
The children coloured and labelled diagrams of the blood model, and we read The Magic School Bus Has A Heart (highly recommend – we love the Magic School Bus!). We also looked at Blood! which is a nicely illustrated and very comprehensive early-reader style reference book but was less of a hit in this living-books-loving house. Usborne’s flap book See Inside Your Body has some great pictures of the circulatory system.
Finally we enjoyed our favourite new find – the “Once upon a time… Life” series on YouTube. These are short animated movies (15-30 minutes) by Procidis which C and J absolutely LOVE. Each mini-movie (viewable in 3 parts on YouTube) covers a different topic using cartoon characters inside the body. The science is spot on and very detailed, but presented in such an engaging way as not to overwhelm younger children. This morning we watched the movie about the blood and another about the heart. [Edit: C and J later begged me for another, so now they know all about platelets, too!]