This science unit is for the third grade. The unit will be covering control systems of the human body. This science unit will give the students learning experiences that will help in critical thinking skills, learning about conducting an experiment, and making conclusions. Students will also be conducting discussions about the topics and making connections on how this unit will affect their lives. When using lessons about the human body, teacher should check for understanding with what students already know from previous years. Teacher should teach a review lesson that could be a review of vocabulary and body parts.
The science unit will give students new vocabulary of the human body. The new words are: nerves, sensory, motor, thyroid, hormones, and reflexes. Teacher can ask questions about changes, for example “What changes have you noticed about yourself since you were little?”. This could be a question the teacher could pose to the whole class to introduce the science unit. Teacher can tell students that they are starting a unit about the human body and after the unit is completed they will know why their bodies are changing and growing, and why these changes are happening. Teacher can also teach about some of the disorders of the body as pertaining to control systems of the brain. He can educate students about cerebral palsy and diabetes. There could be students in other classrooms or even your own with these disorders.
This science unit will help the students to understand how their bodies change physically and mentally. They will learn through experimentation and through group discussions that show relationships about the body and how through exercise it will improve body movement and thinking skills that include making observations and recording them, and then sharing what they have found out about themselves and others.
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Subject: Third Grade Science
Materials: Model of the Human brain, paper, pencils
Lesson Objective: Students will discuss the parts of the brain. They will also learn about reflexes and the parts of the spinal cord. Students will discuss how these body topics will affect their lives. They can discuss what they think the brain looks like and how the brain is connected to the nerves and spinal cord.
Differentiation strategies for diverse learners: Advanced learners computer models for higher levels of topic, and for slower learners reviews of new words. For handicapped students maybe some adaptive equipment, like magnifiers for visual problems.
Engagement: Does anyone know about the brain and how it works to make your body work? Has anyone ever wondered when you bump into an object why your arms or legs move at times?
Explore: How is your brain like a computer? What kind of activities can the body do because it has nerves? How do nerves help us? Why are reflexes important to our bodies? The teacher can lead an art project, where the students will draw a nerve cell and label the parts. Another activity can be an exercise activity that will demonstrate body reflexes and movement.
Explanation: Teacher will define the new vocabulary like cerebrum, cerebellum, nerve cells, sensory and motor and vertebra. Teacher can ask for a volunteer and he can do an experiment dealing with reflexes.
Elaboration: Students can do various experiments dealing with reflexes with each other, for example, an experiment could be about sensitivity.
Evaluation: Teacher can have students name the parts of the brain. On a worksheet teacher can have students label the parts of the brain.
The endocrine system
Materials: plant, 2 cups, soil, rooting powder, metric ruler, water
Lesson Objective: Students will learn and discuss about glands and hormones. They will learn about the thyroid gland, and how this helps our body grow. They will also learn the functions of the endocrine system.
Engagement: Teacher can ask students about how are they changing, for example in height or weight; skinny or fat.
Explore: Class can do an experiment “How does a plant hormone work?”
Explanation: Teacher can teach new vocabulary words like endocrine, hormone, glands, pancreas and adrenals.
Elaboration: Students can learn about how the pancreas work for the adrenal glands and how this is related to digestion of our food.
Evaluation: Students will tell how the endocrine glands differ from other glands. Name two endocrine glands and show where they are located and tell what they do.
Lesson Three. Disorders
Materials: paper and pencils
Lesson Objective: Students will discuss some of the disorders of the nervous system and the endocrine system. New vocabulary words are epilepsy, cerebral palsy, paralysis and pituitary.
Engagement: Teacher can ask children if they know any children and/or adults with cerebral palsy or any other endocrine disorders. Have you ever seen a dwarf?
Explore: Making a graph of how a disorder has changed like epilepsy or polio.
Explanation: Teacher will show how computers can help with nervous disorders. Teacher can also share how various equipment, like wheelchairs or crutches, help children and adults deal with these various disorders. Giving them definitions of the above words.
Elaboration: Teacher could go to the nurses’ office and borrow a wheelchair or crutches and have students to try them. Teacher will have to go over safety measures when doing this experiment. He can ask students how would they feel if they had to use this equipment all the time.
Evaluation: Teacher can ask students to describe a disorder of each of the control systems. Why does a person with cerebral palsy often have trouble with walking?
Lesson Four. Hormones in Sports
Materials: textbook and trade books on hormones and sports.
Lesson Objective: Teacher will discuss hormones in sports. Class can discuss topics about how people can get taller, stronger, and faster. New vocabulary words are human growth and hormone.
Engagement: Teacher can talk about favorite athletes and how they got so fast, tall or strong.
Explore: Teacher can take class to the library and they can find books on their favorite sports figure, and figure out if they used human growth hormone. They can discuss in groups how they feel if their favorite sports figure used drugs. Students can find out if their school has rules against using drugs and are they fair.
Explanation: Teacher can explain what is human growth hormone. What are the effects that could happen?
Elaboration: Have a discussion on the subject. Some people say hormones help athletes perform better. Some say they are dangerous and some say they are not. What do you think?
Evaluation: Teacher can have the students write an essay on their favorite sports figure and have them include any facts that include hormone issues,
Lesson Five. Test
Define the following words.
- Nervous system-
- Endocrine system-
- Cerebrum a. automatic response
- Reflex b. main part of the brain
- Hormones c. inability to move
- paralysis d. chemicals in endocrine system
Write a cause and effect paragraph for the following statement—Your knee jerks when a doctor taps your knee with a rubber hammer.
Sample. How to teach Lesson One
Teacher will make a worksheet with a picture of the brain. These sheets must be handed out to the students. Teacher will use a transparency and label each part of the brain, explaining what each section does to control bodies. It could also be explained that the brain controls reflexes through sensory nerves and motor nerves and that helps people to move. Teacher can ask for a volunteer to come up and have their reflexes tested like they do at the doctors’ office when they go there. Questions can be asked, like “How do you feel when you go to the doctor?” (possible answer-nervous). Teacher can tell students that there is a way that their bodies are telling them something through the nerves of their body. They can test each others’ reflexes as well. Teacher must remind them to be gentle and it only requires a gentle hit to get the desired results. This is when person can define sensory and motor nerves. Teacher will define the words like reflex, sensory and motor nerves, cerebrum, cerebellum, nerve cells. The model of the brain could be shown if available and the various sections could be pointed out. These models do come apart and teacher can show each of the sections. Teacher can explain that without these nerves it would be hard to move and with the brain it would be hard to think about moving or doing anything and that the brain and nerves work together.
This lesson should be about 15 minutes. Teacher can work on the sheet of the brain for about 5 minutes, then he can do the experiment of having students test each others’ reflexes and they should be given about 10 minutes to do this; students will want to try it on their friends at least a couple of times on each of them. While they are testing each others’ reflexes this is when teacher can ask about their trips to the doctor’s office and they feel when they are there. Teacher can take 5 minutes to review the new terms and their meanings.