Our Human Body study continued last week by looking at bones and muscles. As we learned about our skeleton, we were amazed to learn that we have 206 bones in our bodies. Our largest bone is our upper leg and the smallest is in our ear. We discovered that we could feel many bones in our bodies—our knuckles, hips, ribs, and shoulder blades. Bones give us shape and protect important organs like the brain. A skeleton, half the size of our students, allowed our class to see the bones beneath their skin. Another of the works in the classroom was a full set of human x-rays. Children took time to browse each x-ray, comparing them to their own bodies, then trace them using a light-box.
We also talked about our muscles. Stretching and releasing a partially inflated balloon helped to explain how muscles expand and contract. We learned that the muscles in our face help us smile and make silly faces. We reviewed our study of the digestive system and discovered it depends on muscles, starting with the tongue and including peristalsis. A piece of hosiery along with easter eggs to represent a bolus was a hands on way of seeing how food moves to the stomach in waves of muscle contractions.