This week we have been looking at the heart, blood and the circulatory system.
If you missed the other parts of our Human Body Study, you can see them here: Human Body – Doctor’s Bag, Human Body ~ Body Parts, Human Body: Bones, Joints and Muscles, Senses, Cells, Heart, Blood and Circulation, Digestive System and Nutrition, the Brain and Nervous System, the Skin, Hair and Nails, the Immune System and Germs, the Respiratory System, the Excretory System, Reproduction System and Dental.
First, we made an edible model heart.
To make an edible heart model, you need:
* crackers, like salada or premium ones that can be broken up into 2 or 4 parts.
* mini marshmallows
* normal sized marshmallows
* blue icing
To Make your edible heart model:
* Ice two parts of biscuit with blue icing and the other two parts with red icing. These represent the four chambers of the heart.
* Push 4 mini marshmallows onto a toothpick and repeat this 4 times. These will be the pulmonary veins that bring oxygenated blood into the heart.
* Place these onto the red side of the heart; 2 at the top and 2 on the right hand side (as you are looking at it). Ice these with the red icing.
* Push 3 normal sized marshmallows onto a toothpick. Repeat this 3 times.
* Place one on the top and bottom of the blue side of the heart and one on the bottom of the red side of the heart. Then cover with icing.
Below is a labelled picture.
We also made a working heart. For this, we tried two experiments.
The first experiment was a pump that moved water through straws. It was quite simple and I had all the materials at home.
* a balloon
* a cup or glass jar (I used a plastic cup)
* two bendable straws
* toothpick or kebab skewer (something with a sharp point)
What you need to do:
* Cut off the neck of the balloon
* Fill the cup about 3/4 full
* Stretch the round end of the balloon over the top of the cup. The flatter you get the top, the better.
* Using the skewer (or sharp object) carefully punch two holes in the top of the balloon.
* Place the two straws into the holes
* Place and tape the cut off end (the neck) of the balloon over the bendy end of one of the straws.
*Bend the straws and take this outside or place in a bowl
* Push down on the balloon in between the straws. The water will squirt out of the straws, just like the blood squirts through our veins and arteries.
Below is a picture of how it should look when it is completed.
And it squirts out water! The neck end of the balloon acts like a valve to stop the water going back down the straw, similar to the way the valves in your heart stop the blood going backwards.
The second working heart experiment was way more complex.
Below is a picture of it set up before we added the coloured water.
Then we added the coloured water through the atrium (the holes in the top). Red in one, blue in the other.
Next, B squeezed one colour at a time. The plastic jars were too tough for us to squeeze at the same time.
After receiving a call from the local butcher, we went to pick up our ox heart. They had had them in last time, but they were already cut up into pieces and I wanted a whole one for the boys to see, so the next order they received, they left one whole just for us.
This ox heart was a lot bigger than we expected. It weighed 1.394kg! The boys had a great time observing it, and cutting it up. B is asking to get another ox heart, so he can do it again!
Above is a picture of the outside of the ox heart and below is one of the inside. This was how it was when we picked it up from the butchers.
We found the left and right ventricles, the atrium and where the aorta would have been.
After having a good look (and talk) about what we could see, the boys set to work, cutting it up to see what else they could find.
We also found some lamb hearts at Woolworths, which the boys were really interested in taking a look at.
To learn more about the blood, we completed our version of What is Blood Made of? from I Can Teach my Child
The white ping pong balls represent the white blood cells, the small red water balls represent the red blood cells, the water (though you really can’t see it) represents the plasma and the cut up red foam represents the platelets.
We also made fake blood, which you can see here: Fake Blood
The boys checked their pulse with a marshmallow and a toothpick.
It was amazing to see the toothpick and marshmallow move, very slightly.
We also completed this mini book. To download your copy, click the link below:
You can check out more activities on my Human Body Pinterest Board: