Third graders are studying body systems
Third graders are currently in the middle of one of their major science units of the year. Throughout the spring, third graders get an in-depth introduction to human biology by studying four major body systems: respiratory, circulatory, skeletal, and nervous. Each of the four areas is covered by one of the third grade teachers, and students spend about three weeks on each system.
Several of the units involve projects. During their study of the nervous system, for example, Ms. Nevels’ students learn how the skull protects the delicate structures of the brain. Students explore this idea by creating egg helmets designed to protect an egg during a drop. In Ms. Becker’s class, students create a model of the respiratory system in order to understand how the different components of the system fit together.
The unit also builds connection between classroom study and real world health issues. During the unit, students hear from several guest speakers, usually KCD parents with medical expertise. This week, for example, cardiologist Dr. Bill Schmidt spoke to third graders about the procedures he uses to treat heart disease. He also described how diet and exercise play an important role in keeping hearts healthy. Other speakers this spring include Dr. Zaka Khan (respiratory specialist), Dr. Mark Jackson (dermatologist), Dr. Sohail Ikram (cardiologist), and Dr. Randy Partin (ER).
According to Susan Nevels, lifestyle and health issues are a major focus on the unit. “I hope our students learn an appreciation for our healthy bodies,” she said, “as well as the importance of taking care of them.”