Science Sunday: Why are our bones strong?

After much talking and debating among my three children they decided to go with Land Animals for our next science to study.  But, Superman really wanted to learn about skeletons, I think that’s the only reason he was looking at the Anatomy notebook because it had a skeleton on the front.  Seriously.

 

I made him a deal, what if before we start learning about land animals, we learn about skeletons?  He was okay with that.

 

I had picked up the “Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body Science Kit,” thinking it looked really cool.  I’d seen Enchanted Homeschooling talk about some of their kits a couple of times and it looked very intriguing.

 

I was right.  This could make a great month long unit on anatomy all by itself.  I’m going to save most of it for when we study anatomy, but until then………

 

For the first experiment you need: glass jar, vinegar, chicken bone

 

1.  Get a rotisserie chicken for dinner, and enjoy it.  Then don’t let your husband throw away the bones.

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2.  Explore the bones.  This is a great chance to try descriptive terms.  Slimy, dense, hard, rubbery.

 

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3.  Discuss the cartilage at the end of the bone.  Also point out a few ligaments and tendons that are still attached.  Think to yourself, this is kind of gross.

 

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4.  Predict what will happen to the bone while it’s in the vinegar.  My kids had no clue what would happen, so they went for SUPER silly!  Princess said “A Princess will come out of the bone and make flowers!”  Ummmmmm, not so much.

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5.  Obsessively check on the bone for the next day or so.  Pout when you’re not allowed to touch it.

 

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6.  Take the bone out.  Discover that you can bend it.  Talk about how the vinegar took the calcium out of the bone.  Calcium is what makes our bones hard and strong.  This is why we drink milk.

 

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7.  Observe the dissolved calcium in the jar.  Think to yourself, that’s kinda gross.

 

And that’s our first part of skeleton studies.  I’ve been busy getting ready for the kids to go to grandparents while Jeff and I celebrate our 10 year anniversary this week.  I was going to do more, but I had other things on my mind………  A lot of cleaning.

 

Let’s see what others did this week:

Spell Out Loud did a great preschool evaporation activity.

 

The Usual Mayhem has a post for the strong of stomach about mold and fungus (with added bit at the end about the useful parts of fungus and mold……).

Almost Unschoolers has glow in the dark fake snow.  Now to hunt down a UV source……..

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Science Sunday: Shrimp

 

 

A few months ago I shared how we dissected a shrimp, however the shrimp we got from our grocery store was already beheaded.  We got ones with shells on, so they saw the tails and legs and such stuff, but they really wanted to know what the head looked like, up close and personal.

 

I joked about going out for sushi and making my brother order fried shrimp heads again (he did it on a dare once, it was AWESOME), but Jeff didn’t think that was the best plan, for many perfectly valid reasons.

 

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Then, when we were in Virginia we ate at this perfectly horrible Chinese/Japanese buffet.

 

Horrible, they messed up jello so badly I couldn’t eat it.

 

But, they had shrimp with their heads on.  So, right there in the restaurant we had a science lesson.

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First thing we noticed is how HUGE the eyes are.  I personally think they’re kind of freaky.

 

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Next we noticed the length of the antennae.  They’re about as long as the shrimp itself.

 

This required a lot of playing and fiddling around to see how much it could be moved.

 

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And then some general exploration of how it moves and the different parts of it.

 

Of course eventually it was eaten.

 

I guess that day we played with our food.

 

Let’s see what others did this week:

Finding the Teachable Moments shared about their Fire Safety week, a great pre-school/early elementary unit (you have to see what her husband brought home from work!).

 

Homeschool Mo did a couple of things this week, but I really loved her illustration for the earth circling the sun using a pie pan.

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Science Sunday: starfish

 

 

You remember how ages and ages ago I asked for recommendations about starfish, and then I lost my camera with the pictures of what we did?

 

Well I found it.  Or more accurately, when I made the kids clean out the dog’s toy box of all of their stuff they found it.  My guess, I had them clean and they put it all in the dog’s toy box.

 

Needless to say I was not a happy Mommy.

 

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First we looked as the starfish my Mother-in-Law had given us from a trip she took and picked up for them.  I’ve been holding on to these for quite some time.  We noticed the little bumpy things on the bottom and talked about how those are little suction cups that let the starfish move around.

 

After we poked around and looked at them under a magnifying glass, I said we were going to try and see what it was like.  Then one at a time I ushered my unsuspecting kids into the bathroom and they got to play with the plunger in the toilet.

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After I was suitably disgusted by their fascination (and they now think of the least excuse why the bathroom needs the plunger, racing downstairs to get it), and they managed to not cover my bathroom floor with water.  We continued on to the next part.

 

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Then we cut out a starfish from sandpaper and recorded our observations of what it felt like to try and move like a starfish.  We did a similar craft before, a couple of years ago for our ocean animals book.

 

I’d like to thank: Fantastic Five, Alex Nguyen Portraits, Books 4 Learning, and Enchanted Homeschooling Mom for all coming up with some fun ideas to do.  Between all of their ideas, links, and suggestions I could have spent a couple of weeks on starfish, unfortunately my kids interest level was not as high as mine.

 

Does anyone else ever run into the problem of being more interested in a topic than their kids are?

Let’s see what others did this week:

Fantastic Five combined science and art for a fun astronomy lesson.

I loved the idea of using a rolling pin for a pulley from Quirky Momma.

 

Next Gen Homeschooler did a great job of trying to earthquake proof buildings.

 

Dottie’s Homeschool Universe shared about rocks and how they’re formed.

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Don’t forget to have a link back here somewhere on your front page.

 

Oh, and one last request: If you have any posts, old or new, about land animals I’d love to see them linked up.  We’re going to be studying land animals next and my land animals pinterest board is rather sparse.

Science Sunday: Shrimp

Science Sunday

I just heard about a linky sponsored by Apologia Science, so I’m gonna link this up to Homeschool Science Show and Tell!

I’m kinda thinking I need a “grocery science” category, because as I was finishing up our science experiment for the week I realized a large majority of our science experiments come from there.

001Case in point.  This week we were reading about different crustaceans, and I thought excellent let’s check out the lobsters at the store.

We had a lot of fun observing the different parts and remembering why the water is cold (keeps the lobsters complacent and from needing to eat).

I asked if we could touch the lobsters, but they’re not allowed to touch except with gloves on, and I was rather expecting that answer, but figured I’d give it a shot.

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That night after dinner we explored the 6 shrimp I got after looking at the lobsters.  I considered getting some crab too (what a great excuse to get crab, right?), but the crab is already cut in half and doesn’t have the exoskeleton on it.  Kinda takes away some of the science lesson, and thus my excuse to get crab.

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We went through and looked at their swimmerets, and discussed their exoskeleton, which is tough and brittle.  Then we looked at the tail, talked about it for awhile.

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Jeff joined in the lesson at this point, and after having pulled the tail off one, pointed out the long thin brown thing you can see in the picture (thank goodness for zoom).  That is the shrimp’s lower intestine.  Then we talked about how the butcher (or someone else) had already taken the head off and removed most of the organs.

Let me tell you that was the most fascinating thing EVER to them.

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Afterwards they filled out the lapbook portion about shrimp and drew pictures.  Oh, and they all stole Jeff’s shrimp.  Back when we were on our Christmas trip they all tried shrimp and swore they didn’t like it.  On Wednesday when I only got a little they all decided they loved it and stole all of poor Jeff’s shrimp.

Here’s a few fun ideas from this past weeks link-ups:

Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational has a fun way to learn about spiders (I know my boys would love this).

All Things Beautiful did an experiment with the connection between taste and smell (FYI one of my boys has those same jammies).

Learning Ideas K-8 has a fun anemometer, homemade wind speed measurer.  I didn’t know you could make one at home.

And one last one:

The Learning Hypothesis gave us a link to the science behind play dough.

Science Sunday: Insect Mouths

 

I bet that got your attention didn’t it?
Basically insects have three different types of mouths: chewing (think ants, caterpillars, crickets); sponge (fly is the primary example I can think of); and sucking (butterfly, mosquito).
Purpose of experiment: to see how the different insects eat (inspired by this post from the Work Plan).
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First we tried eating with a sponge mouth.  We all agreed this was very hard to do and we wouldn’t get much food if we had to eat that way.

As a side not, I think it would have worked better if I had more thoroughly saturated the sponges beforehand.

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Next we tried to use a proboscis like a butterfly has on the plate, and agreed that butterflies would not really be able to eat from this.

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Then we tried it in a flower to suck up the nectar.  This worked so much better.  It was still a challenge to try and get them not to use their hands.  But, eventually they mastered it.

I have no pictures of the chewing, because obviously that is how we normally eat, and figured pictures were rather unnecessary, and potentially gross depending on my kids’ manners at that moment.
Results:  The kids all agree that they like chewing food the best.  The straw was fun, but it was challenging to get in without using their hands.

Oh, and look what I found in my garden (picture from here):
001And he would be why my tomato plant has produced NOTHING.  As soon as a leaf grows he eats it, and he was huge!  About 5 inches long, and when I found out what he was I was going to transplant him somewhere else, but he had already gone underground to form his cocoon.  But in the meantime the kids had a lot of fun observing him.  Sigh, that’s going to be a rather useless plant.

But look what I did successfully grow!  And it actually tasted good, unlike say the bell peppers I grew last year, which tasted all weird from the horrid drought and heat.  Hurricane Alex did good for us in the rain department.  The entire time we were out of town Texas was getting rain.

Sigh, Superman just woke up and came downstairs with the announcement, “Nobody talk to me,” guess my blogging time is done for now.

Science Sunday: Propulsion

Because propulsion sounds a lot more scientific than balloon racers.  I bought these balloon racers from Oriental Trading Co.  And we played with them and explored the science behind them.

They already knew instinctually that these would move, but it was the why I was trying to get at.  It was really interesting seeing them try and put this together.  At first Superman was trying to say it was nothing that made it move.  But we talked about how that didn’t make sense because they had noticed if the balloon was more full it went further.  So, what is in the balloon that makes it go?  I pointed out how I blew into it to make the balloon bigger and suddenly Superman made the connection, “It’s AIR!”  So we talked about how air can move stuff sometimes.  All in all it was a fun quick science lesson to do while dinner cooked.
We also learned that if you over-inflate the balloons they pop, and that if you blow them up too often they pop.  We went through a lot of balloons.
Oh, and lest you think my kids always get along and we have a perfect house…..

Well, it’s not too surprising we didn’t do anything super exciting and well planned out with everything going on.  Life is slowly getting back to normal in our house.  We’re fielding a lot of questions about death and life and those types of things, but not too surprising considering these past few weeks.
I halfway want to have everything back to normal, but I also recognize it’s not going to be normal for a while, and that’s okay.  Healing is a slow process and I need to remember this.

For more about Science Sunday and participating go here.