Anatomy and Physiology: Bone Study

Our Cross Section of the Bone
Our Cross Section of the Bone

GOALS FOR CHAPTER TWO

  1. Quick revision of Cells
  2. To learn all the names of all the bones
  3. To learn how we can keep our bones healthy
  4. To learn how to apply first aid to various bone injury scenarios

REVISION FROM CHAPTER ONE

  1. We made a biscuit cell to eat.  The children could only eat it once they had named all the parts and told me what they did
  2. We made use of the following flash cards for revision: http://www.spelloutloud.com/2011/09/human-body-learning-about-cells/

 

The first thing we did was read the chapter aloud.  I did this over two or three sessions.  I had the children narrate back to me what I had read.  This is helpful first in ensuring that they listen and secondly making sure they heard and understood.  I had them watch Standard Deviants School DVD Anatomy Bones every day we did anatomy:

The children watched this DVD a lot.  It really supported my goal for them to learn the names and positions of all the bones.  After each viewing we played Simon says.  We often use mnemonic type reminders to help us and we have A LOT of fun:

Simon says point to your sternum
Simon says point to your stern and serious sternum (stern and serious because it’s where you apply pressure for manual heart massage)
Simon says point to the 'golf ball' patella
Simon says point to the ‘golf ball’ patella (it has been this since the children were five and learnt all the main bones, couldn’t tell you why!)
Simon says put your hand on your occipital bone
Simon says put your hand on your occipital bone
Simon says 'put yor hand over your 'chitty, chatty' mandible
Simon says ‘put your hand over your ‘chitty, chatty’ mandible

Each time we did it, they got better and better.  Until Daddy joined in, asking them to stand on their metacarpals:

DSC_1135They managed that, but when he said Simon says ‘ jump on your cranium…’  Well, that just wouldn’t have been safe!

I got them to play with and construct our two skeletons and try to name all the bones.  It was interesting, because they found this much harder to do than Simon says!

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I also had some child x-rays, which I had the children build up and then label a few times (unfortunately the labels that came with the x-rays were not quite as detailed as I would have liked, so they also manually pointed out other bones they could remember):

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Who can spot the bone we have one too many of and the one which is missing??
Who can spot the bone we have one too many of and the one which is missing??

Right at the end of the unit, Gary joined in (again) and built up a card board skeletal model.  I am so blessed to have a man who wants to be involved:

The kit the cardboard skeleton came from.  It was really strong cardboard
The kit the cardboard skeleton came from. It was really strong cardboard
L10 hiding her skull behind the cardboard one!
L10 hiding her skull behind the cardboard one!
T11 trying to attach the ribs
T11 trying to attach the ribs

BONE MODEL

I had an idea forming in my head over the previous year, which if it works could be a great addition to our anatomy study.  Being a little haphazard by nature I decided to go on ahead even though I hadn’t really planned how it might work for all the other chapters.  I want to build up examples of the systems onto a cardboard human form.  I don’t want to build all the bones, just one example, not all the muscles just one for the children to be able to visualise how muscles work.  I anticipate the end product to look very messy and disjointed, but it is not my goal to impress the children with beauty, merely teach them, so they’ll have to put up with inevitable mess!

Obviously, for the purpose of this chapter we will create a bone.  This will not be a scale model.  It’s important everyone, especially the children, understand this!!  I had a box left over from a TV purchase a few years back.  I’d kept it for this very purpose (yes, my brain works years in advance!).  I drew an outline around Gary and drew an outline of a large bone.  Using card board roles I made a very crude model of the femur:

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I collected supplies from around the house:  papier mache, red and blue thread, a red straw, two sponges with different thicknesses
I collected supplies from around the house: papier-mache, red and blue thread, a red straw, two sponges with different thicknesses

I had stuck the tubes to the card and using the papier-mache we packed up the sides and fashioned the sides of the bone:

The children all digging in.  We LOVE papier mache!
The children all digging in. We LOVE papier-mache!
And a close up
And a close up
Whilst it was still wet I popped the blue and red thread (blood vessels) down the red straw (red bone marrow).  The straw was rolled in a thin yellow sponge (yellow bone marrow) and again in a thick yellow sponge (spongy bone).  I put these in the tube covered with wet papier mache (compact bone) to help it keep its shape whilst it dried.
Whilst it was still wet I popped the blue and red thread (blood vessels) down the red straw (red bone marrow). The straw was rolled in a thin yellow sponge (yellow bone marrow) and again in a thick yellow sponge (spongy bone). I put these in the tube covered with wet papier-mache (compact bone) to help it keep its shape whilst it dried.
And a close up, showing blood vessels, red marrow, yellow marrow and spongy bone
And a close up, showing blood vessels, red marrow, yellow marrow and spongy bone
We mixed a yellow and red paint with glue and gave the bone a coat to represent the living covering over the bone which we wouldn't see on a dead bone (periosteum). We then trailed red and blue threads over and stuck them down with another coat of the glue/paint. These were the oxygenated and deoxygenated vessels. I completed the cross-section with some spongy bone under the thick cartilage at the end of the bone.
We mixed a yellow and red paint with glue and gave the bone a coat to represent the living covering over the bone which we wouldn’t see on a dead bone (periosteum). We then trailed red and blue threads over and stuck them down with another coat of the glue/paint. These were the oxygenated and deoxygenated vessels. I completed the cross-section with some spongy bone under the thick cartilage at the end of the bone.
And a close up
And a close up

Hopefully as we go through A & P we’ll add more systems, for now it’s not a pretty sight…..

Our very empty whole body
Our very empty whole body

BONE HEALTH

It is important to me that the children know how to apply what they learn.  I always ask myself WHY I am teaching them whatever it is I am teaching at the time.  Along side teaching the children about bones I thought it was important they also learn about bone health and also bone first aid.  To this end we are going to be making a board and writing down everything we learn to keep our body healthy.  So far we have only studied bones so our list is small and includes:

  • Exercise
  • Vitamin D
  • Sunlight
  • Calcium

FIRST AID FOR SPECIFIC BONE INJURIES

For bone first aid I considered the situation when they might learn something which could be of use to the injured person.  I came up with bone fracture, bone dislocation and sprain of the bone ligaments.  I took them through some general first aid training teaching them to assess the situation, ensuring it is safe, to remember that the person is more important than the limb which is in trouble and do less rather than more.  I taught them to stay calm, to keep a low, level, calming voice and to ascertain as much information orally from the patient (if possible).  I taught them to assess the physical condition of the patient and to look for noninvasive ways to aid their comfort, without causing any more damage.  The children learnt to bandage, apply pressure gently if bleeding was present, and to cool the area down using a cooling pack.  We looked into alternatives to use if we didn’t have a first aid kit available to use.  For example frozen peas for cooling,  a clean piece of material to stem bleeding, asking for help from bystanders if necessary.

  • Bone fracture

I photocopied information from this website for the children to read and put a copy into their note books.

Having read through, I asked them to narrate.  We then role played and they had a chance to put their new-found skills into practice:

L10 play acts falling in a pot hole and breaking her wrist
L10 play acts falling in a pot hole and breaking her wrist
T11 (in charge) and C10 (helper) assess the situation, asking pertinant questions.  They ascertain that L10 is in too much pain to move any part of her body (!) and assume it is a breakage.
T11 (in charge) and C10 (helper) assess the situation, asking pertinant questions. They ascertain that L10 is in too much pain to move any part of her body (!) and assume it is a breakage.
C10 calls for an ambulance at T11's instruction.  I role play the phone call with her
C10 calls for an ambulance at T11’s instruction. I role play the phone call with her
Meanwhile T11 stems the bleeding with some clean cloth, being careful not to get blood on himself (no gloves available as on the street)
Meanwhile T11 stems the bleeding with some clean cloth, being careful not to get blood on himself (no gloves available as on the street)
C10 makes L10 as comfortable as possible using an onlookers coat to keep her warm and her own jumper to support her head.  They await the ambulance.
C10 makes L10 as comfortable as possible using an onlookers coat to keep her warm and her own jumper to support her head. They await the ambulance.

Apart from the natural exuberance and excitability which characterises C10, making her anything but calm at the scene (!) they did everything really well.

  • Bone dislocation

Again I photocopied first aid information from this site.  I had them read and narrate as before.  Then we role played with T11 the patient, C10 as first aider in charge and L10 her helper:

T11 had dislocated his shoulder in a rugby match.  He knew he had dislocated it, having done so in the past.
T11 had dislocated his shoulder in a rugby match. He knew he had dislocated it, having done so in the past.
Whilst L10 rung for an ambulance, (role playing the conversation with me), C10 made sure T11 was comfortable until the ambulance arrived.
Whilst L10 rung for an ambulance, (role playing the conversation with me), C10 made sure T11 was comfortable until the ambulance arrived.
T11, warm and as comfortable as possible, with C10 looking after him
T11, warm and as comfortable as possible, with C10 looking after him
  • Ligament sprain

I, again, photocopied from this site.  As before the children read and narrated.  This was by far the most enjoyable for them to role play as it is potentially the one with the most involvement:

Wordpress isn't allowing me to download my first photo, but C10 is the patient having fallen arquardly on her ankle.  L10 is first aider in charge with T11 as helper.  Through questioning they find C10 has not broken her ankle as the pain is receding and she is able to move her foot fairly comfortably.  L10 applies a cold pack and requests T11 fetch some cusions to elavate her foot
WordPress isn’t allowing me to download my first photo, but C10 is the patient having fallen arquardly on her ankle. L10 is first aider in charge with T11 as helper. Through questioning they find C10 has not broken her ankle as the pain is receding and she is able to move her foot fairly comfortably. L10 applies a cold pack and requests T11 fetch some cusions to elavate her foot
Using T11 as her helper, supporting and holding up the leg, L10 begins to bandage the ankle giving it support.
Using T11 as her helper, supporting and holding up the leg, L10 begins to bandage the ankle giving it support.
Not bad for a first attempt!
Not bad for a first attempt!

This was a great exercise but I do want to make a disclaimer.  There were some points from the first aid sheets which I discouraged the children to do, such as splinting the broken bone.  I encouraged them to do less rather than get ahead of themselves and think they know more than they actually did.  I also questioned them throughout, giving them many ‘what ifs’  ie what if you had no cloth to stem the bleeding, what if you had no phone to phone for the ambulance, what if the patient didn’t want you to touch them etc  I was a community nurse and I know that often care is given under less than ideal conditions so I wanted the children to think and not idealise.  They loved this exercise and it was well worth it!

FIRST AID KIT TO TREAT BONE INJURIES

Following on from this, I thought it might be a fun thing to gradually build up a first aid kit for each child, slowly adding bits to it as we went along through each body system.  I used a large zip lock bag:

The zip lock containing all the first aid supplies needed for bone first aid.
The zip lock containing all the first aid supplies needed for bone first aid.
I included a sterile dressing (stem any bleeding), gloves, a cool bag, a sling to support a strained wrist, a bandage, sissors and tape
I included a sterile dressing (stem any bleeding), gloves, a cool bag, a sling to support a strained wrist, a bandage, sissors and tape

Daddy had a go at teaching the children how to put on a sling.  He is first aid trained.

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And what was A4 doing whilst all this was going on?

Learning all about her body, of course!!
Learning all about her body, of course!!

We had a lot of fun learning about our bones.  You know you’ve done something right when, after whacking his head on the radiator, T11 exclaims ‘Ow!  I’ve hurt my occipital!!’  Muscles next!

Science Sunday

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

 

25 comments

  1. We just finished up our cell study and are moving onto the rest of the body. including bones. This is the coolest post I have seen on bones. We have made tons of cell models and last week we modeled the circulatory system (not posted yet).

    I love the way you modeled all the parts of the bone using straws, yarn, paint and paper mache. I think we will do this too. I’m pinning it and off to see what you did in bones 2. Thanks

    Julie
    http://highhillhomeschool.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

  2. This is amazing! We did Apologia books too but this is by far the best I’ve seen yet with the hands on projects. I will for sure send your blog along to young families starting out with Apologia. Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful ideas with us all!

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