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Human Body Systems

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Cheska Robinson Cheska Lorena 5075 Points

Hello colleagues, I am searching for short but kinesthestic labs on the various human body systems. We have currently finished the Digestive and Excretory Systems, and now wrapping up the Circulatory and Respiratory Systems. My lab time has now been absorbed into my regular instruction time (now 80 minutes), so short labs (with minimal or very cheap consummables) would be best! I have purchased the AIMS e-book and would like to construct lung models for the next activity. On a side note, do you specifically teach ALL body systems? Do you teach it one a time, in pairs, or as one whole interconnected theme? How do you usually approach teaching the human body systems? Thanks in advance! Cheska

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

Cheska, I am attaching two articles that I think will be of interest to you. In response to your questions, I prefer teaching the body systems together so that students understand the interrelationships of the systems. Or if you teach them separately, be sure to relate how they work with the each of the other systems.


Science Shorts: Action Figures (Journal Article)

Why Do I Crave That Cookie? (Journal Article)

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92316 Points

Hi Cheska,
If you haven't discovered the Newton's Apple videos and resources yet, you might be interested in checking them out. The video clip on aerobic respiration can be found at this URL: Newton's Apple; then go to the Health and Medicine tab to find the video clip on aerobic respiration.
With each video clip, there is a teacher's guide. Here's the listing of the activity guides:
Newton's Apple Activity GuidesPlease note: Not all of the video clips (including the one for aerobic respiration) have teacher guides.

Leslie Warren Leslie Warren 110 Points

I do general activities about all body systems and the heirarchy of organism, organ system, organ, tissue etc. and then go on to focus on a few of the others. For circulation we do something called the circulation game where the kids rotate through a track taped out on the floor exchanging cards and acting as blood and organs. For our lesson on joints we dissect a chicken wing to look at how it is constructed and how the muscles can be contracted to bend the wing.

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 64775 Points

Hi Cheska, Here are some resources geared to upper elementary/middle schoolers. They can be modified as necessary. The NASA web seminar archive gives information about some NASA curriculum that is very good. It is free, but you have to be a NASA explorer school. I can't remember if you are or not. You wondered if it was important to teach all the body systems. I guess that would depend on two factors: 1) will your students be tested on body systems on their state assessment and 2) do you feel you have the time. I would personally teach muscular, skeletal, circulatory, digestive, respiratory, nervous, and reproductive. You could pair the muscular and skeletal systems together. You could also pair the circulatory and respiratory system together. If you can take your time on the human body, it is important for young people to know about their bodies.

The Human Body for Elementary and Middle Collection (5 items)
Cheska Robinson Cheska Lorena 5075 Points

Thank you all for the quick responses and materials. Basically, I started off with... Characteristics of Life Levels of Organization Cell Structures and Functions Then I paired the systems--Digestive/Excretory, Circulatory/Respiratory. (That's where I am right now) I keep going back to characteristics of life and how the systems work individually and how they work together to help living organisms survive. I have also been emphasizing relationships between structure and function. Ideally I would like to teach all systems, but I am shared staff and teach science to two schools. I have until February to teach the rest of the body systems, genetics, and animals/plants until I transfer to the other school and teach the whole thing over again. What would be the most efficient way to do teach the systems? There's so much, and as a new teacher, I am unsure as to what is most important and what can be cut out for now. Thank you for your time and help!

Tarah Dahl Tarah Dahl 135 Points

I dont know if this is helpful at all, but I really like the resources available on the National Institute of Health teacher resource site: I use two units from this website: Neurobiology & Addiction and Emerging Infectious diseases. This site has the curriculum pacing, worksheets, activities, etc. It is everything you need for a whol unit. I use this resource and throw in my own content here and there in my biology classes. Hope this helps! Tarah Dahl

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 64775 Points

Hi Tarah, Thank you for being these resources to my attention. I've been perusing this unit today and I like what I see. This looks like a great addition to any unit on the nervous system at the high school level. I especially like that students are required to interpret graphs, collect data, and analyze data in this unit. It has a great balance between experiments/activities that students could perform in class and cases that students can review and evaluate. This unit provides activities for multiple type of learning modalities through class discussions, web interactives, and evaluation of case studies. I think the real-life application is exciting because it presents neurobiology in a way to which young people can relate. High school students are naturally curious and they explore many things without a thought to their long term effects. This unit may make some step back and think about the consequences of trying a drug or continuing to take drugs.

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month

Last year, drunk or drugged drivers killed 830 people in traffic crashes during the month of December. The holiday season is particularly dangerous on the roads due to more traffic and a high incidence of alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. Help raise awareness about these preventable tragedies during National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

Talk to you students about problems that may occur when someone consumes alcohol or takes drugs—either legal or illegal—and then gets behind the wheel. Emphazise the importance of driving responsibly—even if that means choosing not to drive when impaired or not to get into a car with a driver who isn't clearheaded. The AAAS has a collection of resources explaining science behind alcohol with a focus on chemistry and neuroscience. The Science Inside Alcohol Project E-Book guides students through the effects of alcohol on the body and some of the physical and social consequences of underage drinking. Hear about teen brains and binge drinking, explore the social ramifications of alcohol abuse, and get advice on talking to kids about drinking. We also offer a number of resources related to impaired driving, including Driving and Talking, Cell Phones & Driving, Talking & Driving, and Driving while Distracted.

Angela Miller Angela Snyder 1035 Points

Cheska: Well I cover the body systems at the end of the year. I assign groups (two students/group) in January for each major body system. I have my students through the course of the semester work on their presentations. They must create a life size drawing with organs of their body system. They also must teach for one full class period their body system. In teaching they must give notes, a hands on activity and a quiz. I have found students really wow me with their ideas! they seem to excel and thrive by doing this hands on teaching!

Lisa Russell Lisa Russell 465 Points

Hi Chelsea, Last year we taught our human body unit with a focus on middle school students writing a human body systems book, which we then had second graders read. We did many of the same labs others have mentioned, chicken wing, respiratory and circulatory systems game ( I love the "building a lung lab" idea - I would like to incorporate that this year) with students being the systems. I found the artistic piece to be very engaging for my more creative students and knowing that their books would actually be read by yonger students was also a great motivator. I find it challenging to teach all the different systems (but would love to given the time) but this year I think we will be focusing in our school on the Next Gen systems focus because we are implementing the NGSS. Best of luck, Lisa

Yetzul Flores Werner Yetzul Flores Werner 1190 Points

Nobel has several games that have to do with the body systems. All you need is a projector and a computer to include your students. If I have a few minutes at the end of class I pick one to show them. They have fun playing the games as a class and it's very educational.

Yetzul Flores Werner Yetzul Flores Werner 1190 Points

Hi Cheska,

I just saw this website that provides classroom activities on the Human Body Systems. Check it out and see what you think. Most of the supplies are not too expensive and you can pick and choose which ones you would like to do. Human Body Classroom activities

Ashley Cox Ashley Cox 7705 Points

We're currently teaching body systems in our curriculum now. We have them paired up and teach two systems a week. We do hands on activities or experiments for each system, and then do Cornell Notes at the end to review and make sure students have the important information. This is the schedule we followed with a brief description of the activities. 1. Muscular/Skeletal: for the skeletal system, we had a set of stations that covered things like joints, ligaments, bone marrow, and the function of the skeleton. For the muscular system, we did an experiment to test muscle fatigue. 2. Circulatory/Respiratory: we did these together with two experiments and tested the effects of exercise on each system (pulse rate and respiratory rate). 3. Excretory/Digestive: for the excretory system, we did a demonstration of filtration to show how the kidneys filter waste from the blood stream. For the digestive system, we did the digestion in a bag activity. 4. Nervous/Reproductive: for the nervous system, my students are doing stations which include the functions of the brain, how neurons work, the effects of drugs on brain function, and testing their reflexes. For the reproductive system, we decided just to do Cornell Notes. 5. Immune System/Infectious Diseases: we're doing the how an epidemic spreads lab, and emphasizing how the immune system works with that. I have all of these files available if you would like to look at any of them in detail. The first three weeks seemed to have been a success - we're on week 4 right now, so I'm not sure how the nervous, reproductive and immune systems will go yet!

Nance Chaubell Nance Chaubell 20 Points

Nance Chaubell Nance Chaubell 20 Points

 I am starting an 8 week Body Systems Unit for gifted 5th/6th graders.  If you think it's the right level, I would LOVE to see your files! 

Lisa Coin Lisa Coin 220 Points

I would like to see how you set up your Cornell notes for these body systems. I teach high school health sciences and we are looking into switching to this type of note taking. Thanks, Lisa

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