Human Body  



The Sunflower unit on the Human Body is divided into three main sections, each exploring a different theme:

1. We are each physically unique human beings.

2. Our bodies respond to change, and to the world around us.

3. We need to take care of our bodies in order to remain healthy.

In the first section, children explore some of the ways in which their own bodies are special. For example, children discover that even though humans as a rule maintain a very steady body temperature, there are noticeable differences in the temperatures of our hands. Children also measure and compare the lengths (and circumferences ) of different parts of their bodies, and then graph these measurements. In this section children also learn about why they have different-colored skin and different types of hair, and engage in activities designed to help them value that diversity. As an extension activity, children may look at their own fingerprints, to see how they fall into one of three general patterns, and yet are each individually unique.

In the second section, children discover that the human body is able to adapt to changes in our own activities, and to changes in our environment. For example, children explore the changes in heart rate and respiration rate that occur as a result of increased exercise. Children experiment with the senses of taste and touch, and see how these are influenced by other senses. Children also learn about reaction times, and experiment with ways to improve their own reaction times. As an extension activity, children may be asked to check the heart rates of different members of their family at home, or to graph their own pulse changes.

In the final section, children focus on activities which influence the health of our bodies – specifically diet and exercise. Children record everything they eat over a 24-hour period, and then compare their eating habits to those suggested by the "food pyramid" of the American Dietetic Association. Children also explore how many calories they eat, and how many calories they use in various activities.

The Human Body unit takes approximately twelve 50-60 minute sessions to complete. The table below shows the approximate time each activity will take; but the time you spend should reflect level of children's engagement and interest in each activity.

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