This packet contains a total of five different assignments that can be used to introduce students to general concepts of the human body. Every year, as I introduce the human body unit, I like to spend a few days giving a general overview of the body as a whole before I move into the specific organ systems that I am required to cover in my curriculum. I am only required to cover five organ systems in my curriculum: skeletal, muscular, digestive, cardiovascular and respiratory. However, I think it is important for students to understand that there are many more systems that make up the body than just those five, and all are just as important as the ones we cover in detail. By spending a few days going over the systems in general, I believe they are able to get a better understanding of this as we go through the rest of the unit.
I have placed these assignments in this packet in the order that I use them. Most of them are done in school, though some may be used for homework as well. The last assignment in the packet is a long term project that I usually assign toward the beginning of the whole human body unit; however, it is not due until the end of the unit. Since I spend 7-8 weeks on the whole unit, this gives them plenty of time to complete that project! The rest of the assignments in the packet should take 3-4 days to complete as written. I have always thought that Random Body Facts would make a great web quest if modified to be used as such. (Unfortunately, I have not gotten around to doing that!) If you did this, it would probably add a couple of more days to this short intro unit, whether completed in school or at home.
I hope that these assignments can help you in your classroom! Teaching the human body to middle school students definitely has its challenges, but it can also be very rewarding, and the students enjoy it. It is something they are familiar with and something that is relevant to them in their own lives. Even though there can be awkward moments, it is one of my favorite units to teach! (Just bring your sense of humor. You'll need it!)
The complete packet contains two informational worksheets, a scavenger hunt, a movie sheet* and a long term project complete with topic ideas, rubrics and a letter to parents.
*PLEASE NOTE: If your school does not own a copy of the video that is required for the movie sheet in this packet, you can always request it through inter-library loan through either your school library or local library.