We began, of course, by reviewing the previous lesson, The Integumentary System. Students completed their summaries and illustrations for their main lesson books.
Day One Story & Exploration
I took my story for The Immune System from The Human Body: 25 Fantastic Projects Illuminate How the Body Works.
The chapter is called "Diseases & Immunity." I required that the older students take notes during the lesson.
We began by reading pages 106 and 107, and I explained to the students that there are several types of cells in your blood and drew the shape of a red blood cell, a white blood cell (which I told them looks like a Koosh ball), and a platelet on the board and explained the general role of each.
I stopped at the end of the first paragraph on page 108 and we did a quick and easy demonstration of how germs travel. Glitter!
Before I showed them the glitter I asked the group what craft supply drives adults crazy because it gets everywhere. In fact, on my art shelves this item is labeled Adults Only. They all got to guess before I revealed what was in my hands! I put some glitter on each child's hands and then told them to go about their business as they normally do while we continued the lesson. At the end of the lesson I asked them to notice where the glitter had traveled to. Apparently I wipe my hands on my pants all the time. I was very sparkly!
We read the rest of pages 108 (Charge! How Your Immune System Goes to Battle) and 109 (Hey, I Don't Feel So Good). I drew a picture of antibodies and antigens like puzzle pieces on the board, which was helpful when we went on to allergies and vaccinations later in the chapter.
We then read the rest, which was pages 110 (Germs Shot Down) and 111 (Caring for Your Immune System). Since there are so many components to the immune system, we immediately did the nomenclature three-part cards from ETC Montessori. I laid out and matched the pictures and definitions, and passed out the vocabulary cards to the group. As I showed each picture and read each definition, the child who had that vocabulary term came forward. Be forewarned: this is the most complex set out of all of them!
Day Two Review & Exploration
Our Yoga teacher, Ms. Lindsay, started the morning's yoga class by explaining to the group how much doing yoga helps the immune system. There are a lot of positive benefits!
We did the Make Your Own Immunity Slush Drink recipe from page 113 of The Human Body: 25 Fantastic Projects.
The immune system can be challenging to illustrate! I shared Natalie's MLB illustration for the immune system as an example. She drew some of the cell pictures from the nomenclature and identified the different types of cells.
I also offered several additional activities for children to do for the Skin, because it's part of the Department of Defense as well (as it is called in The Story of the Great River). We did the Make Your Own Fingerprint Kit from pages 72-73 of The Human Body: 25 Fantastic Projects, we made DIY Exfoliating Coffee Coconut Bars, and I arranged for Ms. Kelly to also come in and do melt-and-pour soaps with my group Monday as their next Art project.
Coffee Coconut Exfoliating Cubes
1 cup espresso ground coffee
1 + 3/4 cups coconut oil
2 tbsp pure shea butter
1/4 cup sugar
a few drops vanilla essential oil (optional)
Ice cube tray or soap mold
Place the shea butter and 1 cup of the coconut oil in a glass jar and heat in the microwave until just melted, but not hot (about 15-20 seconds). If the shea butter is still solid, stir the oil for a few minutes to melt it down. Combine the oil mixture with the coffee grounds and sugar in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add a few drops of the vanilla essential oil, if using, and mix.
Fill the ice cube cups halfway with the coffee/oil mixture (about 2 tsp each, depending on size), and place the tray in the freezer.
Once frozen, remove from the freezer and melt the remaining 3/4 cup of coconut oil. Pour the melted oil over the frozen coffee cubes, and place back in the freezer. Allow to freeze completely before removing the cubes from the tray. Store the cubes in the freezer until you’re ready to use one!
For me, this recipe takes three ice cube trays.
There is plenty of good work in even a simple activity like the Immunity Slush Drink (which we doubled), from working as a team to share the tasks fairly, to placing ice cubes in a ziploc bag (put a folded towel underneath) and hammering them, to squeezing the lemons and measuring the juice, to counting how many students want to try it and setting out the paper cups, to dividing the slushie fairly between the cups, to writing the name of each classmate on a cup and distributing them.
Finally, I also had a non-fiction article called The Science Behind the Flu Shot for my older students. This free article is specifically written for kids and includes comprehension questions at the end.
Main Lesson Book
Students began to draft their summaries and illustrations for The Immune System.
This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!