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.
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:
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