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Human Body Activities For Young Learners
Studying the human body with kindergarteners
7 Jan, 2017. 0 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Language, Kindergarten Math, Kindergarten Science, Kindergarten Social Studies, Kindergarten Writing, Preschool, Science. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Human Body Activities For Young Learners

This year, my students were very interested in learning about the ways their bodies worked. We spent about three weeks learning about our five senses, our skeleton, our skin, and doctors. It was such a fun unit and really helped set the tone for project learning in our classroom. It all started with a question.

“Miss Smith, can we change our dramatic play center into a hospital?”

I was more than happy to oblige to this request. Over the weekend, I added some test tubes, doctor tools, lab coats, a cot, and a few other items to our center and eagerly awaited the arrival of my students on Monday morning.

our kindergarten dramatic play center- doctor's office

My students were beyond excited and couldn’t wait for exploration centers.

In our book center, I set out a large collection of books.

books to go along with your unit on the human body books to go along with your unit on the human body and the 5 senses

We began our day reading the book, “What I Like About Me.” We talked about how we are each unique. We discussed how we were the same and how we were different and passed around a handheld mirror stating something we liked about ourselves. As we passed it around, my students said things such as, “I like my freckles.” “I like my brown eyes.” It was really sweet to hear the students discuss their favorite features.

After this, I showed my students how we can examine our features and draw them. After a brief example, my students drew self portraits and we hung them up.

The next day we began learning about specific parts of our body. As the skin is the largest organ, we started with that! My students entered the classroom and found this anchor chart displayed on the easel.

Our beautiful skin tones- Kindergarten students used paint to try to match their skin tones

On a table, I had set out this provocation.

Our beautiful skin tones- Kindergarten students used paint to try to match their skin tones

My students gathered on the carpet and I read them the book, “The Skin You Live In.” (Link to the book: http://amzn.to/2i0VumV)

screen-shot-2017-01-07-at-12-14-50-pm

If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it! We read a brief paragraph about the skin from a nonfiction book I own and then completed a fun morning meeting activity. I had gone to a paint shop and gathered a bunch of paint chip samples. I punched holes in each of them and my students tried to find the exact color of their skin. As my students mingled around the room trying to find the shade that matched them, they talked with their friends about the different shades and connections they were making with their friends.

During a unit on the human body, students examined their skin. They used paint chips to try to find the exact color that matched their skin tone. During a unit on the human body, students examined their skin. They used paint chips to try to find the exact color that matched their skin tone. During a unit on the human body, students examined their skin. They used paint chips to try to find the exact color that matched their skin tone.

Then, during exploration centers, my students tried to mix their skin tone using paints. Using brown, black, white, and yellow, my students carefully mixed and tested the colors that they were creating.

During a unit on the human body, students examined their skin. They used paint to try to create the exact color of their skin tone.

To test their creations, they painted a tiny spot on their hand to see if the paint color matched their skin tone.

During a unit on the human body, students examined their skin. They used paint to try to create the exact color of their skin tone.

Once the color matched, they added it to our anchor chart.

During a unit on the human body, students examined their skin. They used paint to try to create the exact color of their skin tone.

This was a huge hit with my students!

Through our play centers, I began to notice that my students were especially interested in their bones.

During a unit on the human body, kindergarten students acted out what they were learning at their dramatic play center. During a unit on the human body, kindergarten students acted out what they were learning at their dramatic play center.
During a unit on the human body, kindergarten students acted out what they were learning at the light table. During a unit on the human body, kindergarten students acted out what they were learning at their dramatic play center.

To help my students dig deeper into understanding their bones and skeleton, I read them the book, The Skeleton Inside You. {Link: http://amzn.to/2iPMLBf}

The Skeleton Inside You

To help my students discover how our skeleton works and looks, I had my students trace their friends on large butcher paper and create their skeletons using our blocks.

My students wondered how our skeleton was made and how it worked. To help them discover the answer, we traced our friends and used building blocks to represent our bones. The kids used my x-rays, books, and posters to help them make accurate representations of their skeletal systems.

My students referred to our classroom resources to replicate their skeletons.

My students wondered how our skeleton was made and how it worked. To help them discover the answer, we traced our friends and used building blocks to represent our bones. The kids used my x-rays, books, and posters to help them make accurate representations of their skeletal systems. My students wondered how our skeleton was made and how it worked. To help them discover the answer, we traced our friends and used building blocks to represent our bones. The kids used my x-rays, books, and posters to help them make accurate representations of their skeletal systems. My students wondered how our skeleton was made and how it worked. To help them discover the answer, we traced our friends and used building blocks to represent our bones. The kids used my x-rays, books, and posters to help them make accurate representations of their skeletal systems. My students wondered how our skeleton was made and how it worked. To help them discover the answer, we traced our friends and used building blocks to represent our bones. The kids used my x-rays, books, and posters to help them make accurate representations of their skeletal systems. My students wondered how our skeleton was made and how it worked. To help them discover the answer, we traced our friends and used building blocks to represent our bones. The kids used my x-rays, books, and posters to help them make accurate representations of their skeletal systems. My students wondered how our skeleton was made and how it worked. To help them discover the answer, we traced our friends and used building blocks to represent our bones. The kids used my x-rays, books, and posters to help them make accurate representations of their skeletal systems.

They used such great teamwork, collaboration, and research skills during this activity!

My students wondered how our skeleton was made and how it worked. To help them discover the answer, we traced our friends and used building blocks to represent our bones. The kids used my x-rays, books, and posters to help them make accurate representations of their skeletal systems.

My students wondered how our skeleton was made and how it worked. To help them discover the answer, we traced our friends and used building blocks to represent our bones. The kids used my x-rays, books, and posters to help them make accurate representations of their skeletal systems.

As my students learned more and more about their body, they began to ask more and more questions. Luckily, one of my student’s parents is an anesthesiologist! I had asked her if she would be willing to come in to talk with the students about her job and she was so excited to join us! We compiled a list of questions that we wanted to ask her and eagerly awaited her visit.  On a Friday morning, she came in to help answer some of my student’s questions.

During our PBL unit on the human body, an anesthesiologist came to teach us more about how doctors examine their patients and about the tools that they use!

She brought along a ton of real doctor’s tools and showed the kids how doctor’s examine their patients.

During our PBL unit on the human body, an anesthesiologist came to teach us more about how doctors examine their patients and about the tools that they use!

She also let my students explore the different tools!

During our PBL unit on the human body, an anesthesiologist came to teach us more about how doctors examine their patients and about the tools that they use! During our PBL unit on the human body, an anesthesiologist came to teach us more about how doctors examine their patients and about the tools that they use! During our PBL unit on the human body, an anesthesiologist came to teach us more about how doctors examine their patients and about the tools that they use! During our PBL unit on the human body, an anesthesiologist came to teach us more about how doctors examine their patients and about the tools that they use!

She also taught my students how to wrap sprained and broken bones.

During our PBL unit on the human body, an anesthesiologist came to teach us more about how doctors examine their patients and about the tools that they use!

My students LOVED having her come visit and practiced all that they learned during our exploration centers.

Kindergarten students explore "blood" in their sensory table. (Red water beads represent the red blood cells and ping pong balls represent the white blood cells)Kindergarten students explore "blood" in their sensory table. (Red water beads represent the red blood cells and ping pong balls represent the white blood cells)

They examined blood at our sensory table with a deeper understanding of red and white blood cells.

Kindergarten students at exploration centers during their unit on the human body.

They performed operations on their friends.

Kindergarten students at exploration centers during their unit on the human body.

They carefully took notes after and during their examinations.

Kindergarten students at exploration centers during their unit on the human body.

And loved using all of the real tools.

My students learned so much through these lessons and activities. If you would also like to use them, I compiled a resource complete with 5-E lesson plans in my Human Body pack available in my TpT store. {Link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Human-Body-Unit-for-kindergarteners-and-first-graders-2626414}

Love this human body resource available on TpT!

Some of our favorite items during this unit are available from Amazon here:

This blog post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

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