Curriculum & Project Book Used
The Human Body, Part 1 (The Good & the Beautiful Science Curriculum)
Note that The Good & the Beautiful is religious and includes Christian-based ideas in its lessons. That said, I do think their science units can be adapted for a secular family or family of a different religion! Note: I had an older version of this science unit and can’t full speak to the most recent updated version.
This book is fantastic! It honestly could work as a unit study curriculum on its own. There are different topics covered in detail and then lots of hands-on project ideas, all nicely detailed with real photographs and illustrations to help you work through the projects. We used a lot of ideas in this book.
If you have older elementary kids, the Blossom & Root Fourth Grade Science Unit covers the human body, among other topics in Wonders of the Physical World
Reference Books for Entire Unit
*Note this book does contain information on the Reproductive System
I will detail additional books used below for each week/theme.
I created simple spiral-bound notebooks for my kids to document our learning through the lessons, but note that The Human Body, Part 1 curriculum does provide one page of notebooking per week/theme.
Our main structure for each week/theme was as follows:
- Learn basic concepts
- Explore in depth information through books
- Explore videos
- Do at least one hands-on project
- Complete notebooking
Extra Materials – For Fun!
None of the following items are required for the curriculum I used, but are just fun elements to add on to the learning for the early elementary ages.
Videos for Visual Learners
One thing I learned this last school year using the Blossom & Root science curriculum is that both of my kids learn well from videos. Obviously searching on YouTube can be risky, so I fully appreciate when videos are vetted by a curriculum in advance. I didn’t have any for this Human Body unit, but used the following channels/sites that had LOTS of fantastic video options for each week/theme:
Typically for each unit I could find one or two videos to help drive home the lesson.
Week 1: On Being Human…
Week 1 of The Good & the Beautiful Human Body, Part 1 curriculum covers identity in terms of “God made my body” and includes a Bible verse. I wanted to share how I adapted this portion of the curriculum to instead take a secular approach. I did a library haul of several books that celebrate our identity (you can see the list below). We also covered human evolution at the start of the unit, as well as an age-appropriate understanding of the “where do babies come from?” question. I’m not here to say you should or should not cover these things, but rather these are some options. Obviously how you cover the reproductive system will depend on your family’s values and children’s ages. Note that The Good & the Beautiful does not cover the reproductive system in the curriculum I used.
Humans: Affirming Our Identity
- I Am Enough
- Just Ask! Be Brave, Be Different, Be You
- What I Like About Me
- Remarkably You
- I Am Loved
- Why Am I Me?
- Your Place in the Universe
- I Am Human
See this blog post for favorite books on evolution.
We also watched these videos:
*Week 1 of The Good & the Beautiful curriculum does cover the cell in addition to the “God made me” stuff.
*I adore this little book because it covers all sorts of family structures: adoptive, foster, multi-parent, etc. and is LGBTQ+-inclusive.
Week 2: The Skeletal System
For the Skeletal System we used resources from The Human Body, Part 1 curriculum, and also did a super cool project from My First Book of My Body to create a robotic hand from cardboard, string, and paper straws. I also used human skeleton 3-part cards from Montessori Factory. The Good & the Beautiful curriculum does contain lots of handy printouts for every week/lesson, so honestly you do not NEED to purchase any extra printables if you go with this curriculum.
- SciShow Kidz – Your Super Skeleton
- Dr. Binocs – Bones
- Mystery Science – Why Do Our Skeletons Have So Many Bones
Week 3: The Muscular System
For the Muscular System we mainly used resources from The Human Body, Part 1 curriculum. I also loved this helpful poster printout of the Muscular System from Art Design Collection. The extra books pictured for the muscular system here we just explored by browsing. Most books like this I grab from the library.
- SciShow Kidz – How Do Our Bodies Move
- Dr. Binocs – How Your Muscles Grow
- TED-Ed – How Your Muscular System Works
- Mystery Science – Why Do Your Biceps Bulge
Week 4: The Respiratory System
The main project we did for the Respiratory System was found both in The Human Body, Part 1 curriculum and in My First Book of My Body to create a lung simulation. The extra books pictured for the respiratory system here we just explored by browsing.
Week 5: The Circulatory System
We created “blood” using mini marshmallows, oats, and red hots based on an idea found in My First Book of My Body. So fun! I also loved the Human Heart Anatomy 3-part cards from Montessori Factory. We also enjoyed the simple artery and vein “lacing” heart project from The Human Body, Part 1 curriculum. The extra books pictured for the circulatory system here we just explored by browsing.
Week 6: The Nervous System
I combined ideas to have the kids create a play dough model of the brain and label parts, with the main idea coming from The Human Body, Part 1 curriculum. I also really liked the book Why I Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup & Yawn.
Nervous System Videos:
- SciShow Kids – Use Your Brain
- Dr. Binocs – How Your Brain Works
- Mystery Science – How Does Your Brain Control Your Body
Five Senses Videos:
- Dr. Binocs – The Five Senses
- Dr. Binocs – How Your Nose Works
- Dr. Binocs – How Your Tongue Works
- Dr. Binocs – How Your Ear Works
Pictured above shows the hands-on lesson idea from The Good & the Beautiful science curriculum.
Week 7: The Digestive System
What Happens to a Hamburger is a great book to learn about the digestive system. We also created a fun model to get an idea of the length of the intestines, which of course blew the kids’ minds! There are some other fun (and super gross) ideas in My First Book of My Body to learn about the digestive system.
Week 8: The Urinary System
Well, not sure which unit was more silly to my kids — this or the digestive system. I will say that the fun hands-on experiment from My First Book of My Body (pictured below) helped the kids see the “wow” factor and understand the function of kidneys. But, of course their notebooking illustration involved lots of use of the yellow crayon.
Week 9: The Immune System
Lots to learn about the immune system, and certainly this topic is quite relevant to the kids right now. We made some model germs out of play dough to try and have some fun with it, and there was a great little board game from The Human Body, Part 1 curriculum. For books, we enjoyed The Good Germ Hotel and Tiny Creatures which I think were both helpful to not only think of microbes as bad. We are all a bit germ-intensive lately so it was nice to gain some understanding and have fun with it. I could see this being an anxiety-inducing topic for some children, but I think The Good & the Beautiful approach helps focus on the science and makes it fascinating to explore.
- SciShow Kids – Why Do We Get Sick
- SciShow Kids – Why Do We Get Vaccines
- Mystery Science – How Do Germs Get Inside Your Body?
- Dr. Binocs – How Does Your Immune System Work
- Dr. Binocs – How Vaccines Work
- TED-Ed – How Does Your Immune System Work
Week 10: The Integumentary System
The last unit we covered was all about skin, hair and nails. There were LOTS of fun projects in My First Book of My Body. My kids especially enjoyed investigating their fingerprints and doing some hot/cold tests with their skin.
- Dr. Binocs – How Your Skin Works
- Dr. Binocs – How Your Hair Grows
- Dr. Binocs – How Your Nails Grow
- SciShow Kidz- Why Do I Get Wrinkly Fingers in the Bath
- SciShow Kidz – Why Don’t Haircuts Hurt
- SciShow Kidz – See Your Own Fingerprints
Thanks for Reading!
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