We have been learning about the human body at our weekly project group and this week we learnt about the brain. We started off by watching a few YouTube clips about the brain. This one was our favourite.
After this, we were able to create a poster of the brain showing all the different areas and their functions.
D cut out the picture of the parts of the brain and stuck it on a sheet of A3 paper. Then she wrote about the different parts and functions around the picture.
Brain hemisphere hat
Next we made a brain hemisphere hat! The printable for this can be found here. First, we cut out the two sides of the brain.
Then, we followed the instructions to cut and glue certain parts and then stick both sides together with tape.
The children love their brain hat!
Then we talked about the nervous system and how the brain sends messages to all the different parts of the body. I explained about neurons and how they send impulses to each other to pass on the messages.
We made neurons out of pipe cleaners and beads. We used both large and small pipe cleaners for this. The smaller ones I cut in half so they were half the size of the ones in the picture above.
To start off, we curled a long pipe cleaners round at one end.
Then we threaded beads onto the pipe cleaners to represent the myelin sheath along the length of the neuron.
Finally we used the small pipe cleaners to add the dendrites around the nucleus of the neuron and the axon endings at the other end.
I then lined up the neurons and described how messages pass from one to another.
Ruler reaction time experiment
Finally, we did a few experiments. The first experiment tested our reaction times using a ruler. One person holds the ruler up and the other person places their fingers close to the bottom of the ruler but not touching.
Then the person holding the ruler drops it and the other person has to catch the ruler between their fingers. The higher up the ruler, the longer the reaction time. The children really enjoyed this experiment and asked to do it over and over again trying to beat their previous score.
This table from The Homeschool Scientist converts the ruler measurement into reaction times.
Colour test experiment
Next we tried the colour test. For this test the child needs to be able to read. You look at a sheet with colours written on it but the colours of the letters are different from the written colour name. This is a real brain teaser and was a lot of fun to try! This test is all about right-left brain conflict. The right brain wants you to say the colour you see but the left brain tries to get you to say the word that is written.
The brain has been such a fascinating topic. You can also read about other topics we have covered about the human body. We have learnt about the skeleton and the senses ( taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell) too.