We are beginning our human body unit and have started with a discussion of how the human body is organized… from cells, tissues, organs and systems. As many of you know, we did a unit on cells where we studied the organelles and their function, how proteins are made, eukaryotic vs. prokaryotic cells, animal vs. plant cells, and we ended with a look at how some human body cells are specialized. (See more about our Study of Cells Unit here.)
We started this human body unit where the other (cell) unit left off. I made the kids some notebook pages for this portion of our unit about cells, tissues, organs and systems.
We talked a little bit about stem cells and then talked about cellular diversity in the human body. There are more than 100 trillion cells in the human body and there are more than 200 different types of cells. These cells vary quite a bit in both size and shape. A cell’s shape is related to its function in the body.
Tissues are groups of cells work together to carry out specialized activities. Organs are structures that are composed of two or more types of tissues. They have specific functions and usually have recognizable shapes. I had the kids try to identify as many organs as they could. Finally, we talked about the human body systems which are made of related organs that work together with a common function.
The worksheet packet I talked about above (and pictured below) is about ten pages (including the answer pages). These worksheets are part of a bundle that includes the Human Body Systems Worksheets & Chart (scroll down for more about those).
Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window). You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use) to your PayPal email address, which will have a link you can click on to download the Human Body Systems pdfs. (It will say, “You can download your digital products…” with a clickable link.) Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — liesl at homeschoolden dot com. You can also reach me by using the contact form on the blog or can reach me over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.
This set has been updated recently to include some new pages (we added in the integumentary (skin) and reproductive systems this time around). There a number of different worksheets that talk about the organs associated with each of the body systems. I used the sheets in the lower right to introduce the systems. The kids then took notes on which major organs were associated with each body system. Other days they did sheet a body system to organ matching page, check sheet, and the page about the skin.
If your kids are K-Gr. 4 or so, they might really like the super energetic, fun song Body Systems Rock (affliate link) and listened to the lyrics once… before turning it on (again and again) and dancing around the room. (It’s just that kind of song!!) The girls even turned it on when it was time to clean up the homeschool room. If that album is not available at your local library, you can download just the first song for 99 cents (well worth it in my opinion!).
We had two books we really used a lot for these human body units: Human Anatomy Coloring Book (affiliate link) has pages you can print out and color in.
And the The Body Book: Easy-to-Make Hands-on Models That Teach (affiliate link) has really neat models that you can make. We did the joints, bones of the body (see our model here), and some other things, but more about those in those other posts.
By the way, I have a (just turned) 7-year old who is doing this unit too. I bought a book for her by Steck-Vaughn which is right on her level: Wonders of Science: Student Edition Human Body. (affiliate link) It is often used in schools for (middle and high school) students whose first language is not English. It is spot-on for my 1st grader. I will say that the older kids laugh because it is so “easy” (I’ve got to work on their being kind and respectful, for sure!). Anyway, I just thought I’d mention since we homeschoolers often have kids of different ages.
Again, if you decide to purchase the Human Body Worksheet Bundle, you will receive an immediate link to download the three files (In addition, look for an email from Sendowl, the service I use, which will also provide a link to your files.): One file includes the human body chart (which prints in landscape). The second files includes the human body systems matching page, lapbook pieces and notebook pages file which is 17 pages. The final file includes worksheets on cells, organs, tissues and the body systems which is about 10 pages (including the answer pages).
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
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These are some related materials:
- A Study of Cells – We actually started our semester with a study of cells, the cell organelles and their basic functions, eukaryotic vs. prokaryotic cells, how proteins are made, etc.
- Digestive System Packet – This is a unit we did a number of years ago.
Skeleton Worksheet Packet: Notebook pages and lapbook pages for learning about the bones of the body. Approx. 30 pages. Find out more by visiting this post on the Human Skeletal System
Circulatory System Packet 40+ pages
Some of the topics covered in this packet include an overview of the circulatory system, the heart, blood vessels (arteries, veins, capillaries), blood flow through the heart, blood transport through the body, blood composition (red and white blood cells, platelets), blood types, cholesterol, and diseases of the circulatory system. Plus, we did a number of hands-on activities and the instructions (with photos) are included in this packet.
Coming up next for us (probably!): the Muscular System.
Readers have asked what I would recommend for different grades. We tend to cover one new human body system (usually in the spring semester). Assuming you had never covered any of this material I would probably recommend…
For Grades 1-4
- Human Body Systems (with the song, for sure!), Skeletal System, Digestive System
Grade 5 could go either way, though I would have my 5th grader learn about cells and organelles before diving into the other units — if this were my oldest child I’d go with the digestive system, if they were my youngest I would go with the circulatory system.
For Grades 6-8 or so
- Cells, then Human Body Systems (with the song, for sure!), Skeletal System, Circulatory System
We do our science units together. Sometimes my youngest doesn’t remember/understand all the terms, but since we circle around and cover this material again every couple of years, I know she’ll get more then next time around!
Hope that helps!
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Happy Homeschooling! ~Liesl