The Human Body
Investigation One introduces students to the parts and functions of the nervous system. Through a simple ruler drop test and observations of eye blinks, students will discover that the nervous system functions to control voluntary and involuntary movements. In addition, students will perform two cognitive experiments that will show that the nervous system also functions to control thinking and memory.
In Investigation Two, students will study the parts and functions of the skeletal system and muscular system. Students will observe the bones and several muscles of the human body using the human skeleton model and human torso model. Students will also manipulate a working model of the bones and muscles. Their observations will enable them to realize that the muscles are connected to the bones and that the muscles and bones work together to create movement.
During Investigation Three, students will begin their exploration of the respiratory system. Students will calculate their respiratory rate before and after exercise discovering that respiratory rate increases as the amount of exercise performed increases. In addition, students will create a working model of the lung to observe what occurs during inhalation and exhalation, and they will calculate the amount of air that can be exhaled in one breath after they inhale deeply.
Investigation Four introduces students to the parts and functions of the circulatory system. By using a stethoscope to count their heartbeats, students will calculate their heart rate before and after exercise. Through the use of models, students will imitate the “lub-dub” sound of the heart. They will also use a model to visualize what occurs in the heart when it is beating.
In Investigation Five, students will have an opportunity to investigate the parts and functions of the digestive system. Through the use of a hand lens, students will observe the mouth, teeth, and tongue. In addition, students will measure the length of the digestive system from mouth to large intestine using a model. Through this activity, students will discern that the digestive system is folded in order to fit inside of the human body.