“Oh that tickles.” “Don’t forget to trace my dreadlock.” “I want to have my leg on the body.” These were some of the enthusiastic quotes that came out of the kids’ mouths this past week as we completed our model of the inside of a human body. This wonderful investigation of our most inner world led to many great questions, interesting ideas, and exemplary teamwork.
As I prepared for the activity, I gathered as many different materials for them to use to model the many organs and parts of our bodies. I traced a different part of each student’s body to create the outline of the body. With rubber bands for muscles, sponges for lungs, noodles for bones, kidney beans for kidneys, and yarn for intestines, the kids got constructing. The students received little instruction about where anything should go on the body. Instead, they were directed to the many books about the human body in the classroom and the anatomical model named Larry. They excitedly worked together, sometimes arguing about where something went. Their engagement was so high that many of them invested a lot of emotional well-being into the outcome of their model.
Little by little, the kids figured out where to put the lungs, the heart, the kidneys, etc. My favorite part of the activity was when a few of the students started to notice things in the books we did not have on the body. One student exclaimed, “none of the organs can function because our body has no veins. We need to get blood to the organs!” These students rallied the class to create drawings, build models, and add details to the body. In the end, the models came out with more details than I could have ever prepared them to create. This activity was a true testament to our innate human desire to explore and create. When given the space and authority to be the directors of the project, the outcome was more unique and detailed than a teacher ever could have coordinated.
If you haven’t already seen the models hanging downstairs by the island, please check them out soon!
With great joy and love,