Body Day 2017
Stern Center 5th graders excitedly began an integrated unit on the human body with an experimental, messy, socks-on, gloves-on, Body Day.
They visited three stations operated by enthusiastic volunteers, hypothesizing and learning how our bodies are designed to help us perform our daily functions. They used iodine to determine that digestion begins in the mouth, and that our saliva is not the same as water. They tested their taste buds, identifying places on the tongue that respond to salty, sweet, bitter, and sour tastes. They manipulated models of lungs to explore how its muscles work. They listened to each other breath, measuring heart rates. They tested reflexes, grabbing a ruler as it fell, and feeling pricks on the insides of their arms. They got their bodies moving at the muscles and bones station, squeezing a scale to establish which muscles are stronger, those in the arm or the leg. Examining their hands, they measured the length of each bone, and examined their fingerprints. Students concluded their experiments with a prayer from our tradition known as Asher Yatzar, giving thanks for our good health.
As part of this extended unit of study, students look forward to exploring the functioning of a cow’s heart. They’ll feel the strength of the various chambers and examine its veins, as they learn about this powerful muscle.
Over the next few weeks students will choose a body part about which they will research. Using persuasive writing skills, they will try to convince their classmates of the supreme importance of their organ to the functioning of the human body.
Good luck to all!