The Take-Apart Human Body

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1 The Take-Apart Human Body As any teacher knows, children are naturally curious about their bodies. Their questions are endless, and present a tremendous educational opportunity: How do my ears work? Where does the food go when I eat it? Where s my heart and what s it for? Unfortunately, sometimes the answers are difficult to provide. Basic anatomy may be too abstract for students to grasp, and teachers are often hard-pressed to provide instruction & information to children in a manner they can easily understand. That s why Lakeshore has developed the Take-Apart Human Body. The model has been simplified for use in the classroom. It can be taken apart and reassembled, and includes all of the major body organs for your students to examine. Lakeshore (800) LA910

2 About the Model The Take-Apart Human Body displays removable organs: the heart (two pieces), the lungs, the liver, the stomach, the intestines and the head and brain. Each piece is realistically designed to make identification simple and fun. Children can take the model apart quickly and easily. Teachers can identify and explain each organ. To remove the pieces, simply pull gently. The model s head, which can be removed completely, shows the skull and comes apart to reveal the brain. Children can take out the right half of the brain and look inside the model to see the inside of the head. (See below.) liver stomach intestines Use the model as a puzzle to demonstrate how neatly our bodies are put together. Practice reassembling the model correctly several times before showing the children. Begin with the intestines, stomach and liver. Stack them together first, as shown at left. (The yellow line around the bottom of the stomach should face out. The yellow lines on the intestines are there just for added detail.) Make sure the pieces fit snugly together. Place these three organs into the body cavity as a single unit. Then, place the heart above the liver, and finally, snap the lungs into place in front of the heart. 2

3 Suggestions for Using and Explaining the Take-Apart Human Body for Beginners Begin by asking your students to identify all the parts of the body they can name: eyes, ears, nose, feet, legs, hands, fingers, arms, tummy, toes. Then, show the children the model. Can they identify some of these different parts on the model? Ask them to tell you or show you what these parts can do. Can you blink your eyes? What can you do with your nose? What does your tummy do? Using the children s basic understanding as a springboard, explain that the human body is a wonderful machine. Our bodies do a lot more than we think they do! All those parts, your noses and your ears and your fingers and toes, are pretty special. Each part of your body has a job to do. Your hands do a special job they help you pick things up and hold things. And your eyes do a special job they let you see the world around you. Did you know that you have lots of parts inside you that you can t see, that are just as special and important as your fingers and your nose? Inside all of our bodies are special parts that help us think and breathe, smell and laugh and run and eat. Our bodies are busy places, with lots of parts doing their jobs to help keep us healthy and happy. The Brain Your brain tells all the other parts of your body what to do and how to do it. Your brain is inside your head, protected by a hard bone called your skull. The brain needs a lot of protection because it is very soft and very delicate. It s the biggest part of what is called your nervous system. Your nerves are like telephone lines that connect all the parts of your body to your brain. Your brain sends signals through your nerves, telling your heart to beat and your eyes to blink. 3

4 Your eyes and ears are connected directly to your brain. Your eyes are like cameras that take pictures of what you see, and your brain develops the pictures. Your ears are like microphones that send sounds to your brain so you can hear. Your brain is also where you think and imagine. Here s an activity to show the children just how our brain works. Have the children close their eyes and pretend to fly, to swim like a fish or to climb a mountain. It s our brain that allows us to imagine pictures and sounds! The Heart, the Lungs and the Blood System Take a deep breath. Let it out. Put your hand on your chest. Do you feel it going up and down? Now put your hand on your throat. Do you feel something going bump, bump? Your heart and your lungs are very important parts of your body. They work together as a team to give your body something it really needs oxygen! bronchial tubes Your lungs look a little bit like two balloons. Each time you take a breath, air travels from your mouth and nose, down a tube called the windpipe, and into your lungs. Inside each of your lungs are two big pipes that blow the air into your lungs and fill them up. (The technical name for these pipes is bronchial tubes.) Refer to the blue & white tubes on the model and point to them as you explain. On the walls of your lungs are millions of tiny little pockets that trap the air and hold on to it. Then, your blood passes through your lungs and picks up the oxygen in these pockets. The oxygen then travels all over your body going to all the places that need it. When you exhale, your lungs push used-up air (called carbon dioxide) out of your body! lung 4

5 Right next to your lungs, you will find your heart. The heart s job is to pump blood with oxygen throughout your body. When you are sitting still, the heart doesn t have much work to do and thumps quietly. Put your finger on your throat, just beneath your chin, and see if you can feel your heart beating. Now, stand up and run in place! Feel your throat again. What is your heart doing now? The harder you work or play, the harder your heart will work to get blood to all the parts of your body that need it. (You can also have the children try their wrists to find a pulse.) veins (blue-gray) The heart is really a muscle just like the muscles in your arms and legs! Open up the heart and look inside. One side of the heart pulls blood in, while the other pushes it back out to make its journey around the body. As with all muscles, exercise makes the heart stronger! arteries (red) How does the blood that your heart pumps travel all through your body? It goes through veins and arteries, which are exactly like one-way roads and highways that go to different parts of your body. First, show the children where our blood travels by running your hands over your body, all the way to your fingers and toes. Then point to the model in a similar way, explaining again that the highways carry blood throughout the body. Remove the lower organs to reveal more veins and arteries and point them out by color. (On your model, the veins appear blue-gray, while the arteries are red.) Show the children how the veins and arteries connect to the heart, matching them up by color, and then explain how the blood travels. As blood travels through your body it loses some of its oxygen and picks up carbon dioxide along the way. Your veins take this oxygen-poor blood from your body into your heart. From there, the blood goes to your lungs, where it loses the carbon dioxide and picks up fresh oxygen. It then travels back into your heart and gets distributed by the arteries throughout your body from your nose to your toes! 5

6 Your blood also carries special fighters to help you ward off illness. Your blood picks up these fighters, called antibodies, from your spleen. The spleen is like your body s policeman. It looks for bad things in your blood that might make you sick (such as germs), and puts the antibodies into your blood to help keep you in shape! spleen The Digestive System To make a car run, you need to put gas in it. esophagus Our bodies also need something to help us run, think and play. The food we eat each day is our fuel. stomach But how do our bodies turn the food we eat into energy? It s called digestion, and there are three organs in our bodies that help us digest so we have all the energy we need: the stomach, the liver and the intestines. Digestion starts when you put food in your mouth. Your teeth break the food up into tiny pieces to make it easy to swallow. The food goes down a pipe (esophagus) that connects your mouth to your stomach. Show the children how this pipe connects your mouth to your stomach on the model. Then point to your body and show the children where the pipe would be located. Your stomach is like a magic bag that holds all the things you eat. It can be very small if you haven t eaten anything, or it can become very big to hold a large meal. But your stomach doesn t just hold the food for you, it also helps turn it into energy you can use. Just as your teeth chew your food to break it up, your stomach helps break your food up even more. The chewed up food in your stomach gets mixed with special digestive juices, called bile, which turn the food you eat into a kind of thick soup. Your liver provides the stomach with these special digestive juices. This is only one of the more than 500 functions which the liver provides! liver 6

7 From your stomach, this mushy soup travels into your intestine. Show the children where the stomach connects to the stomach intestine. Your intestine is like a very long, very soft, very wrinkly hose that fits inside your belly. (In fact, if you were to unravel your intestine, it would be over colon 20 feet in length!) When food goes into the intestine, it has to travel a long, long small intestine way to become digested. Your intestine s job is to break down the food you eat into even smaller pieces pieces so small you would need a microscope to see them so your body can absorb them and get energy. The sides of the intestine are actually very, very thin. When the food is broken down into small enough pieces, it can pass through the sides of your intestine and into your blood. That s how you get energy from the food you eat. The intestine is made up of two sections the small part, called the small intestine, rectum and a bigger part, called the colon (or large intestine). Help the children distinguish between the two by pointing out that the large intestine has been colored gray, while the small intestine is light brown. The small intestine is the part that intestines absorbs the food. What is left over (all the things in your food that your body doesn t need) goes through the colon and comes out when you go to the bathroom. The food that isn t absorbed by the intestine goes all the way to the end of the hose to a part called the rectum. When your rectum is full, you need to go to the bathroom! 7

8 kidney We don t just need food to be healthy, we also need to drink lots of water. Did you know that our bodies are mostly water? It s true. There s water in our blood and in our skin and eyes and even a tiny bit in our ears! While pointing to the model, explain that the water you drink ureter goes into your stomach and gets absorbed into your blood through your intestines. (Trace the water s bladder journey through the body on the model, pointing out each organ as you say its name.) The water travels through your body to your kidneys, which turn the water your body doesn t need into urine. (Depending on the level of your students, you may prefer to use a different term for urine.) The urine goes down two special tubes called ureters. These tubes take the urine down into your bladder, which is like a water balloon. When you feel that it has filled up with urine, you know you need to go to the bathroom in order to empty it. Other Body Systems Your body has many other parts, too. Your skin, for example, is an organ just like your heart or your liver. In fact, it s the biggest organ in your body! Your skin protects you from too much sun, it cools you down if you get too hot, and it holds all the other parts of you together! Your bones hold your body upright all together, your bones are called a skeleton! Some kinds of creatures (lobsters and grasshoppers, for example) have their skeletons on the outside that s called an exoskeleton. But people and most animals have skeletons on the inside. Just like no two people are exactly alike, no two bodies are exactly alike. We are all special and unique. But one rule applies to everyone to keep our bodies healthy, we have to eat good foods and get plenty of rest and exercise. If we take care of our bodies, our bodies will take care of us, too!

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