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2 Week Elementary Lesson Plan on Human Body

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Michelle Mattern Michelle Mattern 1775 Points

Hello, I am doing a 2 week long lesson plan project for one of my college education classes and I'd like to do it on the human body. I was thinking that for my 10 days of instruction, I could choose a few human body categories to focus on for a day or two each, and then at the end, have a comprehensive activity, project, assessment, etc. Some of the topics within the human body that caught my interest are nutrition (including the stomach and stomach organs), the respiratory system, skeletal system, and the circulatory system (heart, blood, veins, etc). One specific idea I had for the respiratory system is to have the students each make a model of the lungs using small balloons, some straws, rubber bands, and a 2-liter soda bottle. I remember making one of these and I thought it was the coolest thing because we could watch the balloons inflate and deflate, just like lungs do. I also like the hands-on aspect of this. I would want to plan some sort of either active or creative activity to do for each part of the body that we focus on. For the end of the two week period, I would want to make something! Maybe for the last two days split up the class into groups – one group for each area of the body we studied and make a class-wide human body model, having each group make their respective parts with labels and explanations. Then, we can put all of the parts together and make a permanent classroom exhibit of the human body. I would probably make this more of a self-directed activity for a few reasons. First, it can be an informal assessment. Also, because we would have already made something for each body area, I would want them to figure out how to make something different. So, I would provide them with a variety of materials and let them work together in their body area groups to be creative. If I did this, I would probably break it up into four areas of the body to study and do two days per area. This would account for eight days of instruction, leaving the last two days for the creation of our classroom body exhibit as a closing activity and refresher on each part we learned about. Does anyone have any thoughts, suggestions, or ideas about this? Thank you! Michelle

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

Michelle, It sounds like you have a very good idea for your Human Body unit. It is well planned and gives students a chance to create something which can act as a performance assessment. Good luck.

Carrie LaFay Carrie LaFay 100 Points

I used to teach the digestive system as part of my Human Body unit in 2nd grade. There is a great book call What Happens to a Hamburger? that you might find useful.

Ryan Connors Ryan Connors 840 Points

Hello, This is Ryan who is in your class. The lesson plan sounds awesome and organized! I like the idea of having the students working in groups on different parts of the body and then coming together as a class to put it together. For my 2 week lesson I was thinking about doing my lesson plan on the food pyramid. One idea I thought about doing was having them go to a grocery store where I give them a budget and they have to find foods under each category within the budget. We can come together as a class and compare the foods that students get. I was thinking that they can fill out nutritional facts and make collogues from cutting out pictures in magazines as some other activities. If anyone has any other ideas on this, that would be great! Thank you, Ryan

Christopher Fiscus Christopher Fiscus 17525 Points

Hello Michele, I think you have a great topic picked out for your two week unit. I also believe this 2 week unit could potentially be expanded to even longer if you had the time and resources available to do it that way you could spend as much time needed on each body part. As far as some suggestions I would consider possibly, depending on the age, making life size models of each human body part. I especially like the intestines: the small intestine is 23 feet long and the large intestine is 5 feet long. Having a model of this and showing students how long these body parts are is astounding and could visual show students how big/important each body part is. You could even have some fort of weight to represent the liver being 3 pounds to show how heavy some of the organs can be. For the younger students I know the magic school bus has some videos on showing different parts of the body internally that way they can visual see the body parts before possibly making their own. I also think near the end of the unit if you had students create their own body and label all the parts they have learned (on a big poster board), or if students are assigned a certain body part they are able to bring together the different body parts to create a 3D class human. I think you are well on your way to creating this unit. Good luck! Chris

Ryan Connors Ryan Connors 840 Points

Hello everyone, I have decided to do the egg drop experiment for my two week lesson plan. I feel like its perfect because it incorporates engineering which is something NGSS is trying to do. I would like to hear from anyone who has any activity ideas leading up to the design process of the lesson plan. Thank you, Ryan

Estee Gutierrez Estee Gutierrez 1450 Points

This lesson sounds great! There are many books on the human body as well. Maybe the schools library has some that the students can use. Your lesson idea sounds very thought out and you seam well prepared. There are also great websites that the students can do at home or whenever they have time to review. I will link them below. The students should love your lesson. Good luck!

Sarah Benton Feitlinger Sarah Benton 1775 Points

I think you have some great ideas! I teach the human body in 3rd grade and I frequently use, especially the 'How the Body Works' section. There are some videos that are great lead ins, or follow ups to a hands-on lesson like the digestive system model (measuring it out as someone mentioned above- the kids LOVE this) or listening to heart beats, or the lung model (which is a winner- the kids really enjoy that).
If you are interested in the heart the lesson 'Hear Your Heart' in NSTA's More Picture Perfect Science is a great one. Here is an article on a similar lesson by the same authors: I have also written about and posted some links on the microbes in our digestive system that I think are pretty accessible to students- but dependent on the age group:
You've got great ideas so far! Good luck with your lesson planning. :)

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