Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cells, Brains, and Stomachs...oh my!

Both of the big kids were studying a bit of human anatomy recently. Princess started with a unit on the nervous system, and Spike learned about the digestive system and a bit about cells. It was not until I was looking back through my pictures that I realized how much stuff we had done with zip top baggies.

Princess did this nice full-size drawing of her nervous system. It was hard to get it all into the camera frame. We traced her whole body onto some paper, cut it out, and then I let her go to work putting in a brain, spinal cord, and some nerves.

In order to understand the size, weight, and approximate consistency of her brain, Princess also made a brain in a bag. It consisted of sand, instant potato flakes, and hot water. To be honest, the smell of those things combined made me gag. Princess was really impressed with just how heavy her brain is. I am not sure it really was a good indicator of consistency, perhaps because she had a fun time tossing it around and calling out, "Brains!"

Here is Spike with his cell replica. The baggie is the cell membrane, the not-really-set-up jello-o is the cytoplasm, and although it is hard to see, there is a grape in there for the nucleus.
To learn about the stomach churning up food, Spike made a stomach in a bag. Inside was a tasty snack of half a banana, some saltine crackers, and water. Yum!

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