Learning How the Body Works
- Grades: 3–5
- Unit Plan:
Students will create and present various hands-on body system projects to their peers. This will support a larger study of the human body systems.
- Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid health information and health promoting products and services.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.
- Select a body system to investigate and research.
- Complete a hands-on project to demonstrate knowledge of a body system.
- Create a fact sheet to teach students about a particular body system.
- Rotate through stations to view and discuss human body projects (The Human Body Museum).
- Songs of Higher Learning's Body Systems Rock album (available online from Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify)
- The Human Body: 25 Fantastic Projects Illuminate How the Body Works by Kathleen M. Reilly
- Copies of Body Systems Rock Lyrics (PDF), one per student
- Copies of Human Body Project Letter (PDF), one per student
- Copies of Human Body Project Packet (PDF), one per student
- Copies of Museum Name Tags (PDF), one name tag per student
Set Up and Prepare
- Purchase The Human Body: 25 Fantastic Projects Illuminate How the Body Works by Kathleen M. Reilly and photocopy the projects you want to assign to students for Part II: School-Home Collaboration. Make sure to select a variety of body part projects, as these will be used in the Medical Artifact Museum.
- Print individual copies of the Body Systems Lyrics (PDF), Human Body Project Letter (PDF), and the Human Body Project Packet (PDF).
- Print copies of the Museum Name Tags (PDF) and cut them out for students to wear. You may want to print the name tags as stickers, put them into name-badge pockets, or glue safety pins to the back to make them easier for students to attach to their clothing.
- Download the Body Systems Rock album (see links in Materials list) and set up a computer with speakers to play the songs in the classroom.
Part I: Human Body Systems
- Ask students what they know about the body systems. Record this on chart paper.
- Pass out copies of the Body Systems Rock Lyrics (PDF) from Songs of Higher Learning's Body Systems Rock album (see links in Materials list for downloads). Students can glue lyrics in their science notebooks, if you use this in your classroom.
- Go over the lyrics and listen to the music from the album. Record more facts on your chart paper and in science notebooks.
- Listen to the body systems portion of the song. Discuss how cells become tissue and tissue becomes organs before creating systems. A labeled human body chart may be helpful to demonstrate.
- Take this time to discuss how our body is like a car. It has many parts that work together; all those parts have different needs. This would be a great time to talk about our body's needs and how we wouldn't think of fueling our cars with soda or junk food.
- Introduce the Human Body Project Letter (PDF). Provide an overview, review the rubric for the project in the Human Body Project Packet (PDF), and have students select a project of interest. Create a due date for returning a completed project. If you have any students that have financial problems, consider purchasing needed supplies for them.
- Using Kathleen Reilly's book, assign students to one of the 25 activities provided. Sample activities include making realistic skin on a hand and creating an inflatable lung. All body systems are represented following this book.
- Allow students one week to complete the assigned project.
- Provide a reminder letter mid-week reminding students of the project deadline and fact sheet.
Part III: Human Body Museum
- The room will be converted to the Medical Artifact Museum. The museum will be broken up by body systems to better understand how organs work together within a system.
- Students will place their human body project under the appropriate body system section of the museum.
- Pass out the Museum Name Tags
- Students will move through the different areas of the "museum" while students explain their "artifact."
- As students move through each section, students will share information from their fact sheets.
- Photos can be taken of each project and placed in a class book. Facts shared can be included under each appropriate photo, creating an informational reference book for your class and others.
Supporting All Learners
For financial concerns, ask students to see you individually for needed supplies. With resources provided, students can enjoy learning with their family and sharing projects with their peers.
Share your projects with other classes by featuring them in the school library or other common areas. Also, you can collect facts shared by peers and type them up to create a human body class book. Photos from the projects could be added to make an informational reference book.
Individual projects are completed at home, however, pictures can be taken and shared of all the completed projects when presented at school. Photos can then be uploaded to a class web site for all to see and learn from.
- Students will research a component of the human body and collect facts to share with the class.
- Students will create and present a hands-on human body activity project.
- Were facts recorded relevant and accurate?
- Were students able to answer peer questions?
- What areas seem to have a high interest? Consider collecting more information on areas of interest.
Grading for this project will be rubric-based. The rubric is located in the Human Body Project Packet (PDF). Works considered less than satisfactory will require revision before medical residency can occur.