The Muscular System: Part 1 of 5
My interest in teaching Human Anatomy sparked even further when we reached the muscular system study in our Apologia Anatomy and Physiology book. There are so many insightful components to this unit that we can teach our children, especially around the way our bodies move.
First and foremost, we are to honor our Father with our bodies. "What? Know ye not your body is the temple of the Hold Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. We are not our own and therefore, the things we put in our bodies, the places we go, and the things we do with our bodies matters.
In order for us to talk about moving muscles, I wanted to first break down what a muscle really is. This visual model of a muscle allowed our little ones to see how each muscle cell contains many myofibrils. Have your child help you build this muscle model for more hands-on learning and understanding of this study. It's interesting how much more those little minds soak up when they get to construct something that you're teaching them.
Building a Muscle Model
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I'm always a fan of re-using the kids toys and/or items from the hardware store (that I normally find right in our garage). There are so many great learning activities you and your children can create for lesson plans from these two places. Not only does it force you, as a homeschooling parent, to be resourceful, but it's also a wonderful money saving tip for your homeschool adventure. Why not use items you have (and maybe a few non-costly extras here and there) for multiple purposes?
Supplies You Will Need
(links are provided below to each)
1. Take the red and pink pipe cleaners and put them inside the longest tinker toy sticks you have.
2. Tape 4 stuffed tinker toys together.
3. Cut a piece of white felt to wrap around the bundle. You don't need to have felt all the way down because it will be inside the coupling.
4. Place the white felt around the 4 stuffed Tinker Toys and secure it with a piece of tape.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 five times. You need to have at least 5 bundles to place inside the coupling.
6. Cut a piece of red felt to wrap around the coupling (I used two pieces of red felt because I didn't have a piece long enough to wrap around). Then tape to secure the felt.
7. Place all 5 of the muscle cell bundles inside the coupling.
8. Fill in the extra space inside the coupling with the red (or pink) and blue pipe cleaners. This will resemble the capillaries.
9. Slightly pull the fascicle out, which is a group of muscle cells wrapped in connective tissue. Then pull out one of the muscle cells. Lastly, pull out one of the myofibril.
There you have it! A model of a muscle.
Your child will then have a visual of unraveling the structure of a skeletal muscle. They can then begin understanding exactly how the muscle can contract and exert a pulling force.
I pray this activity can help create a love for learning about the anatomy of a muscle within your little one.
Looking for more muscular system activities and resources?
Happy homeschooling and remember to "Willfully Serve His Children" throughout your homeschool day.