Today we finished our Uu Us unit. This was primarily a study about the five senses, but we expanded it a little bit to include information about the muscular system and the skeletal system because Hannah has been asking lots of questions lately about how our bodies move, why they don't just fall over like rubber bands, etc. Plus we have some friends with a fantastic The Magic School Bus: Human Body DVD that they were willing to part with for the week.
Usually Day 1 of each unit is when I share new information with Hannah from non-fiction books, encyclopedias, magazines, or whatever other resources we can get our hands on. For this unit, however, I only shared information about the muscular and skeletal systems on Day 1. For the remaining five days, I shared information about one of the five senses each day.
On the second day of our unit, we talked about hearing. We read a chapter from one of her books that explained how our ears are actually feeling vibrations when we hear noises. Then we played a game where we took turns blindfolding each other, and the person who wasn't blindfolded would make a noise and ask the blindfolded person to identify it. It surprised me that Hannah was so surprised to learn how many sounds she could identify without the use of her sight. We talked about how people who can't see rely on their hearing a lot more than those of us who can see.
The next day we studied smell. We read a chapter in one of her books about smell, and then I blindfolded Hannah again to see what objects she could recognize by scent alone. She recognized cinnamon and an orange, but couldn't quite place pepper or an onion. I thought about going to the trash can and grabbing one of Millie's poopie diapers but decided that just would have been mean. I am confident, however, that she would have guessed it right away!
On the fourth day, we studied sight. As we read through our chapter, Hannah thought it was pretty funny that our eyes actually see images upside down and our brains have to flip them over for us! After we read, I blindfolded Hannah again (picking up on a theme here?) and had her draw a picture without looking. She chose to draw an apple (kind of her "thing" right now). Then I took the blindfold off and had her draw the same thing again on a different piece of paper so she could see how much better her drawing was when she could see her pencil and paper.
On the fifth day, we talked about taste. We learned that there are different types of taste buds and each type is located on a different part of the tongue. For example, our bitter taste buds are located at the back of our tongue; our salty taste buds are on the sides toward the back; our sour taste buds are on the sides toward the front; and our sweet taste buds are right smack dab in the front and center. (Doesn't that explain a lot?!) After we read our chapter, it was time to take out the ol' blindfold and play another game. I had Hannah taste a sample of four different flavors of pureed baby food. (I chose pureed because I wanted her only to rely on her sense of taste, not her sense of touch.) She was able to identify applesauce and bananas, but she didn't guess green beans (shocking because it seems like we eat them every day) or broccoli (although she was able to tell me that it tasted and smelled really gross). This opened up a discussion about how our sense of taste is heavily impacted by our sense of smell, which is why our food sometimes tastes different when we have a stuffy nose.
Finally, today we talked about our sense of touch. We read our chapter and learned that we have different kinds of nerves all over our bodies. Some nerves sense pain; others sense hot or cold, soft or hard, smooth or rough, etc. We also discussed that the nerves are more sensitive in certain parts of your body, such as your fingertips. After we finished reading, I got a lunch bag and filled it with several smaller toys from the play room to see if Hannah could identify them by reaching her hand into the bag and feeling them, and she guessed every one correctly! I know she "got it" when we talked about different nerves having different jobs because when she scraped her leg this afternoon, she ran inside with a huge smile on her face and proudly reported, "Mom, my pain nerves are hurting right now!" It was really quite comical!
Hannah's special words to remember this week were "God made us WONDERFUL!" (I didn't get a picture of her wearing her badge this week, but this is what it looks like.)
We spent a lot of time focusing on the simple but essential truth that God created us. We read The Luckiest One of All by Bill Peet, which is basically a book about being content with who you are. (A little boy doesn't like being himself and wishes he could be a bird and fly. Then on the next page, the bird doesn't like being a bird and wishes he could be a different animal, and so on.) After we read the story, Hannah retold it, only she changed it so that each character explained why he was grateful for being the type of animal he was.
I pray these girls always value themselves as children created in the image of their heavenly Father!