Sunday, September 25, 2011

Human Body: Learning About Muscles

We’re moving right along learning all about our body. This week we studied muscles. Isn’t it amazing all we can do just because we have muscles? We learned that we have over 600 muscles, that there are smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, and skeletal muscles.


We did a lot of movement and hands-on activities for this muscle lesson:

1. Each child had a partner. One was the look-out and the other had to try to tell all the muscles in his/her body not to move for 30 seconds. The look-out watched to see if that person could do it.

Teaching: Obviously we can’t tell all our muscles that they can’t move! The kids learned that they blinked, breathed, swallowed etc. all during that 30 sec. time-frame. I used this activity to illustrate the difference between voluntary and involuntary muscles.

2. We played a group game of line-tag. Since we meet in a gym, this was a fun game to get some wiggles out and illustrate the point that we need to use our muscles to keep them strong. With line-tag, kids can only run on the lines that are on the gym floor. Once they are tagged, they are out (or you can make them it and have multiple students who are it). I like this version of tag because it makes the kids think and strategize while playing.


3. Each child placed their hand on their bicep. They slowly lowered their arm to feel the muscle relax. Then they placed their hand on their triceps while their arm was lowered. They could feel their triceps contract.

Teaching: We learned that many skeletal muscles work together in pairs. While one muscle contracts, the other relaxes.

After observing their own muscles, we made a model of how muscles contract to pull the bones up. I printed this arm out from Scholastic’s Human Body: Easy Make and Learn Projects.



We went over some muscle examples in the My First Human Body coloring book.

Next it was time to observe some real muscles in the form of meat. Some of the children were surprised to find out that the meat was a muscle.

The kids pulled apart the meat to see the muscle fibers. This was a Try This! experiment from the Apologia Anatomy book.

Another busy, yet fun anatomy class!

Muscles Take-Home Sheet

To see what we’ve done so far click the image below:


Linking up to:

Science Sunday

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Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

The tag game sounds like a lot of fun! I love the way you showed the meat as a muscle. What a great tie in.

September 25, 2011 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I just bought that book for $1 from Scholastic. Can't wait to use it!

September 25, 2011 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Ticia said...

my kids think it's the coolest thing in the world to explore the dead chicken before we cook it and look at the muscles.

September 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Liberty said...

Enjoyed your post. We are doing a unit on the body later this year... these are great ideas. I think we have the same Scholastic book too. Visiting from Science Sunday :) Thanks for sharing!

September 27, 2011 at 10:50 AM  

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