“Once children are helped to perceive themselves as authors or inventors, once they are helped to discover the pleasure of inquiry, their motivation and interest explode” ~ Loris Malaguzzi
Thank you to everyone who shared their child’s interests with us on Monday.
I mentioned that Jack (4yrs 3mths) had been interested in the human body lately, particularly the function of different organs. It started a couple of months ago now when Jack wondered what happened to food once we ate it;
‘What does the food do in our stomach?’ ‘How does it get to our stomach?’
Let’s go find out. Firstly I asked Jack what he thought happened. I can’t remember exactly what he said but he thought that our teeth made the food smaller and then it fell down our necks and dropped into our stomach. He wasn’t sure what happened to the food once it was in our stomach.
After finding out what he understands (or thinks he knows) we always do some research. We have Usborne’s See Inside Your Body which has lots of lift-up flaps. I really like this book because it uses corrects terms, explaining the different systems and functions of the body simply but without dumbing it down. While it doesn’t have the reproductive system, it does explain the respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems nicely.
- drawings of the digestive system – how food travels through the body
- labelling drawings – learning proper terms like oesophagus
- pretend play – doctors
- clay modelling of the intestines – he was particularly interested in how they made poop
- working with his organ torso “Organ Man” – talking about each organ (oesophagus, stomach, liver, large intestines, small intestines, bowel) and putting them in order
- we took a trip to the National Science Museum where Jack was able to ask lots of questions to the staff and investigate lots of different animal skeletons.
‘Why do we have bones?’
‘What do you think, Jack?’
‘I think we have bones so our bodies aren’t just blobs. Bones are hard (see feel it). Bones are made of metal. Metal is hard.’
- we looked at some x-rays on the light panel – including some old x-rays of daddy’s (and how great is this one?! Might put it on our Christmas list)
- explored some raw meat bones – cut them open and had a look inside
- investigated a bird skeleton – a chance find while walking
- Jack made observational drawings from our model skeleton
- and used wire to create his own skeleton
Jack is still interested in learning about the human body; he plays doctors most days, he tells us about what happens while he is eating, but I think this project might be coming to its natural end…for now at least. There is something else which is dominating his play at the moment. But you’ll have to wait until next month to find out what it is…