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Milky Way, 25 August; Living Things

Milky Way class is continuing the transdisciplinary theme of how the world works, with the central idea that living things have specific requirements to grow and be healthy. The class is continuing to review and reinforce the unit’s vocabulary list of over fifty animals and life-related words and concurrently associate names of animals with their picture and define various descriptive terms. They are becoming more adept at assigning an animal to a taxonomic class based on what they have learned. This week the class researched giraffes as a mammal of interest. Students have also been looking into human systems, hitherto investigating:

  • The skeletal system

Students learned about the bones and joints in their body with a strikingly impressive ability to understand. After seeing pictures, and to augment explanation, students became conscious of their own bones by specific movements or restrictions of movement, as well as being able to feel certain bones within their own bodies. Specifically, they felt their clavicle, vertebrae, sternum and ribs. Moreover, students were confounded when they could obviously feel both bones in their forearm by pronation/ supination and likewise, when they felt the apparent ‘floating’ nature of the knee cap.
The class learned that our skeletal system functions to (i) ‘support our body like a coat-hanger supports a shirt’, to (ii) ‘protect the heart and lungs in a cage’, and to (iii) ‘make blood inside the bones’. They were additionally informed that there are things in milk and green vegetables as well as in sunlight and fish that humans need to maintain bones.

  • The circulatory system

Students learned about the heart and circulation. They know that the heart has four chambers and they were briefly introduced to how the chambers work with respect to circulation. The students were able to understand that the heart is in essence a ‘blood-pump’, and that blood requires pumping because the muscles need to ‘receive deliveries from blood’. Everybody was able to feel their own heartbeat and also, feel their carotid arterial pulse. In a practical demonstration, a hand-pump was employed to pump water between buckets – learners could see the flow of water each time the pump was squeezed and further, were able to feel the ‘pulse’ of the pumped fluid by holding the water outlet line.

In language, the class has continued with prepositions and phonetics and some students have remarkably used their free time to create illustrations of the prepositional sentences. Other students have been analogously studious with their free time, drawing study animals or detailing depictions of the studied phonograms.
Concurrently, the Milky Way girls have for several days, enjoyed spending their free-time making their own props to role-play nurses.

In mathematics, Milky Way is continuing to investigate length by measurement and this week they have been introduced (using their rulers) to the concept of number lines for addition and subtraction.
In craft time, all students have now finished their milk-carton-rabbit plant pots.

The class was also given the opportunity for individual, free-choice craft projects with the only proviso being that they are able to relate their project to ‘living things’. Many students during this time opted to make PET bottle, bird-feeders.

Each morning, Milky Way continues practicing for their ribbon-twirling performance at the sports festival, as well as rehearsing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah and The Lion Sleeps Tonight.