We are using the Montessori Sixth Great Lesson analogy of The Great River (click the link and then choose "The Nation of the Great River - Narration and Music - by Lizby Dingus and Kai Engle" to hear ETC Montessori's version of this lovely story; choose "Teacher's Notes" to download the words as a PDF).
This story is a wonderful way to frame our work. In a Montessori Lower Elementary classroom students ages 6-9 would hear this story every year. It is part of the Peace & Cosmic Education subject of the curriculum.
This isn't as rich and hands-on as when I taught The Human Body as a summer camp in 2018, of course, because we are doing social distancing and meeting via Zoom. But you do the best you can with what you have!
With this "Flipped Classroom" approach, students are doing the "Prior to Meeting" activities at home with their families before we gather on Zoom.
Previous Sessions in this Science Club topic were:
- The Twelve Senses
- Teaching About ASL and Braille
- The Human Body: The Nervous System
- The Human Body: The Circulatory System
- The Human Body: The Muscular System
- The Human Body: The Skeletal System
- The Human Body: The Teeth
- The Human Body: The Digestive System
- The Human Body: The Respiratory System
- The Human Body: The Excretory System
Friday, August 14
Prior to Meeting
Review of The Excretory System
(The Department of Purification)
- coloring pages from Human Anatomy Coloring Book by Margaret Matt and Joe Ziemian
"Nerve Cell" on page 25
"Kidneys" on page 37
Introduction to The Integumentary System
- Building an Organism
Cut five slips of paper and label them as follows:
Place one single Lego by the slip of paper that says Cell.
Connect several Legos together. Place your creation by the slip of paper that says Tissue.
Create several Tissue creations, each made of several Legos. Attach your Tissues to one another. Place this by the slip of paper that says Organ.
Create several Organ creations, each made of several Tissues, each made of several Legos. Attach your Organs to one another. Place this by the slip of paper that says Organ System.
Create several Organ Systems, each made of several Organs, each made of several Tissues, each made of several Legos. Attach your Organ Systems to one another. Place this by the slip of paper that says Organism.
- experiments from Blood and Guts: A Working Guide to Your Own Insides by Linda Allison
"Evaporation" on page 12
"Quick Cool" on page 12
"Sweaty Palms" on page 13
"Skin Prints" on page 14
- Make Your Own Homemade Skin Care Products
"Easy Skin Scrub" from The Human Body: 25 Fantastic Projects Illuminate How the Body Works, page 69
""Strawberry Field Mask" from The Human Body: 25 Fantastic Projects Illuminate How the Body Works, page 70
- Take a nice long bath. Check your fingers and toes to see if they are pruny. Why do you think they do that? Do any other parts of your body get pruny?
During the Meeting
- review the results of student at-home activities
- explain that the skin is just one organ in the Integumentary System, which includes skin, scales, feathers, calluses, digital pads, hair, horns, nails, claws, and hooves
- look at dragonfly wing and shed snakeskin
- read "A butterfly is scaly" pages from A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston and look at close-up illustration of butterfly wing
- review CELLS alive! Interactive HowBig?: Size of Cells and Microbes
click on green arrows to slowly zoom in/out; click on blue to jump to
Red blood cells
- read the chapter "Skin: The Bag You Live In" from Blood and Guts, stopping as follows:
at the bottom of page 14, discuss dust and why you find it even in an abandoned house; explain what dust mites are
at the bottom of page 15, discuss fingers and toes getting pruny as a hold-over from early humans needing more traction to hunt on slippery wet rocks; compare this ancient feature to the tread on a tire
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