Konos Unit: Stewardship
Theme: NERF - Nutrition, Exercise, Rest, and Fun
As we are studying about keeping the body healthy through exercise, Nicholas has been learning about the muscles of the body. He's learned about the tree types of muscles - smooth, skeletal, and cardiac.
I picked up a steak in the "manager's special" (aka "it's going bad soon") section for $2.00. I cut muscle fibers from the meat and prepared them on slides so that Nicholas could look at them with the microscope.
He really likes his microscope. Granddad gave it to him as a Christmas present a while back. He had been too young to work with it reliably by himself but he is an old pro at it now and can entertain himself for an hour at a time with it. It's a cool microscope because it is digital so he can see the image on my laptop. This makes it so much easier for me to see what he is looking at and to point to things on the slide that I want to be sure he notices.
We can even capture video and still pictures. Here we were looking at the muscle fibers and the black striations that cross the fibers. This is only found in skeletal muscles.
Nicholas has also learned to identify the names and locations of some of the major skeletal muscles in his body. He has also learned how a muscle works through contracting and extending. He even made a model of his arm to demonstrate it. He used a cardboard tube from a roll of wrapping paper and cut out a piece the length of his humerus bone. Then he measured his forearm and cut out another piece of cardboard to match. He cut this forearm piece in half lengthwise and taped them together to form his radius and ulna bones.
He labeled his bones carefully.
He straightened out a paper clip and used that to connect the humerus to his forearm bones.
He attached the forearm bones together with a rubber band in place of a wrist.
Then he blew up two long red balloons just slightly and I helped him attach them to his bones. He then demonstrated how the bicep muscle extends when the arm is straight...
...and how it contracts when the forearm is pulled up.
It was neat that he finished up his model while Granddad was here so he was able to show off his work to Granddad.