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Body Day 2017

Stern Center 5th graders recently concluded an integrated unit on the human body.
Their study began in February with an experimental, messy, socks-on, gloves-on, Body Day.  Students 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.
Over the last few months, students conducted research on a body part of their choosing. Using persuasive writing skills, they tried to convince their classmates of the supreme importance of their organ to the functioning of the human body. They concluded their projects this week with a special meeting of the Human Body Corporation. Each of our 5th graders was responsible for persuading parents – acting as CEOs of the corporation - that the organ they researched was essential to body functioning and could not be fired!