Remember that all of my notes for this main lesson block can be found in much more detail on my website.
We began today by reviewing The Digestive System and doing a few additional activities:
- look at finished crockpot yogurt
- discuss each person's results from the Brown Paper Fat Test on page 79 (one student tested samples of cheddar cheese, fresh parsley leaves, wheat germ, gingersnap cookie, bell pepper, and fresh lemon; the other student tested cheese popcorn, cooked mac 'n' cheese, butter, gingersnap cookie, french fried onions, and Life cold cereal)
- do Starch and Spit Test activity on page 78 (pictured above)
- review all vocabulary using the Digestive System three-part cards from the ETC Montessori material for Human Physiology
- add new information to our giant web
The Starch and Spit Test is a must-do but it takes a little bit of time to prepare. You have to mix the cornstarch/water solution in advance and let it cool (1 T cornstarch : 1 cup boiling water). Then collect 1 T saliva (this will take longer than you expect) and combine it with 2 T of the cooled solution.
Next, every minute, remove a teaspoonful of the saliva/starch solution combo to a clean dish (I cut off the sides of Styrofoam cups for the tooth imprint activity and use the bottoms for this activity) and test it by adding one drop of iodine. Watch the instant blue-black reaction slowly lesson to purple over time. As the saliva enzymes continue to turn the starch into sugar, the color will fade away until the contents of the cup are completely white. This is a wonderful experiment but must be done with some care because iodine is poisonous. Make sure small children are kept AWAY from this experiment. When the contents are white they will look like regular milk but they will still have iodine in them. They MUST NOT be drunk.
The Urinary System
- read "Kidneys: Washing Machines for the Blood" chapter from Blood and Guts: A Working Guide to Your Own Insides, stopping as follows:
- at the bottom of page 84, describe Natalie's results from doing this experiment
- at the top of page 85, explain dialysis
- show ketone test strips and explain diabetes
- at the bottom of page 85, read excerpt and show illustration from pages 14-15 of Little House in the Big Woods
- set up Eggmosis: Osmosis with Eggs experiment, using a chicken egg, a duck egg, and a peacock egg
- visit SIU campus to speak with Dr. Scott Hamilton-Brehm, the scientist with whom I'm developing activities for a homeschool-friendly microbiology curriculum
- hear undergrad presentation on experiment results, share and compare their results with our results from the same experiment
- brainstorm follow-up experiments
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