Human Body Unit: The Brain

We have been studying the brain in fits and spurts the last couple of weeks. For some reason, we’re only getting to it about twice a week. But here’s what we’ve done.

We talked quite a bit about the functions of the brain (not the senses as we’ll do this later), but things like memory, thinking, sleep and thing like that.

MEMORY:

First we talked about the difference between long term and short term memories. We spent quite a bit of time reminiscing about living in Australia.

To the left, we are playing a memory game. They are looking at the tray of objects. Then I took two objects away and they tried to determine what was missing.

We also looked at a list with five words:
CAT RED SIT PEN HOT
and a list with ten words:
DOG HOP SIP RUN CAN LIP MAT NIP FUN TAP
and tried to recall all the words.

We learned strategies for improving your memory as well … like placing items you need to remember in funny places around your house. For example, if you need to remember to buy toothpaste, you imagine placing the tube inside the microwave or something.

THINKING:

We spent time learning about the parts of the brain and the different functions of the various regions of the brain. We did copywork related to our readings. (We read a number of children’s books about the brain that we borrowed from the library.)

We made a brain out of cornstarch clay and used that as we talked about the various parts and functions of the brain.
We opened one of the kits we got this summer and put together the various bits (the eyes and teeth pop in, you connect the jaw bone, add the brain and the top of the skull).
I picked this cheap foam puzzle of the brain up a while ago — we reviewed some of the parts and functions of the brain while they took turns putting it back together.

And we also talked about our dreams and read about dreams function for the brain. It’s always fun talking about dreams you’ve had!

We also talked about protecting the brain, but that’s a post for another day.

We got a lot of great ideas from this book: It’s All in Your Head: A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain by Sylvia Funston and Jag Ingram for engaging activities related to memory and dreams.

I thought My Brain by Kathy Furgang was terrific for teaching the kids about the functions of various parts of the brain.

Just for fun, I ordered this free jello mold (I paid $2.95 in shipping/handling so it wasn’t truly free.) It came quickly and we’re excited to give it a try. We’ll be doing this for Halloween.

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2 Responses

  1. October 23, 2013

    […] Human Body Unit: The Brain […]

  2. October 23, 2013

    […] Human Body Unit: The Brain […]

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