Monthly Archives: September 2013

Blood and Guts – Labook: Lesson 2


We have just finished up the 2nd part of our lapbooks:  Lesson 2, The Skeletal System for Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology.  These things are becoming monstrous!  And we’re only on Lesson 2!  The original 10 file folders that I had the kids bring in will be used up completely by the 4th lesson, so I’ve already asked the parents to bring in more of them.

Lapbook:  Lesson 1 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 3 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 4 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 4B can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 6 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lessons 7 and 8 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 9 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 10 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 11 can be found here.

I use parts from Knowledge Box Central:  Chapters 1-7 can be found here, and Chapters 8-14 can be found here, as well as  Scholastic’s The Body Book, by Donald M. Silver and Patricia J. Wynne.  I also make quite a few pieces myself (including the tests and answer keys), of which I’m sharing with you.  Hopefully, they will help you on your homeschooling journey, and you won’t have to get up every day at 5:00 am to put things like this together!

The Bone Labeling Game was a HUGE hit – especially when we played it relay-style!

We also did an easy project to show why God made our vertebrae with so many bones.  I gave out half of a straw and one pipe cleaner to each student.  I told them to thread the straw onto the pipe cleaner and then try to bend the straw.  The straw represents our backbone.  We wouldn’t be able to bend a vertebral column like that if God had given us one long bone.  Instead, He gave us many small bones, so I had the kids take the straw off the pipe cleaner, cut it into smaller pieces, and rethread the pieces.  Once again, I asked the students to bend the straw to show how many small bones help us to move, bend, and swivel.  They twisted the ends of the pipe cleaner together and added them in their lapbooks.

L2 Lapbook – Three Tiny Bones – This is a supplemental foldable.

L2 Lapbook – Osteo – This is a supplemental foldable.

L2 Lapbook – Ligaments – This is a supplemental foldable.

L2 Lapbook – Cartilage – This is a supplemental foldable.

L2 Lapbook – Bones make… – This is a supplemental foldable.

L2 Lapbook – Bone Dissection – This is a supplemental piece when dissecting the long bone.

L2 Lapbook – Bone Diseases – This is a supplemental page (because the kids like interesting medical phenomenon).

L2 Experiment – Brain-Skull Fluid – This is found on page 38.  Make sure you wrap tape around the plastic egg seam before dropping it!

L2 Experiment – Rubber Bones – This is found on page 53.  It’s also found all over the internet, if you need help.

L2 Experiment – Shock Absorber – This is found on page 43.

L2 Experiment – Synovial Fluid – This is found on page  51.

Here are the test and answer key for Lesson 2.  I also had the kids label a blank skeleton (found on page 31 of Apologia’s Anatomy Notebooking Journal for Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology).  Could these titles get ANY longer??

L2 Test

L2 Test – Answer Key

And now for the pictures!

Blood & Guts – Meet Uncle Bill


We are so blessed to have a family who just so happened to have an uncle, who just so happened to have Uncle Bill.  Uncle Bill has been ‘hanging’ with us for the entire Lesson 2, which is the Skeletal System.  He’s been so helpful, I decided to get his picture with each of the kids.  Some of the pictures were quite humerus.

Creative Writing – Murder in the Trash Can


There was murder in an office, and you, Detective So-and-so, must deduce who killed your victim, approximately when your victim was killed, what the murder weapon was, and why he or she was murdered.  All the clues will be found in the trash can next to the victim’s desk, but you have to sort through everything to figure it out.

I told the kids to make a list of everything they might find in the trash can, including mundane items.  They cannot list blatant items (like a gun), but rather, be creative in how the murder happened.  It is up to the rest of us in the classroom to figure out “who done it.”

Math – The 50’s Club 2013-2014


Half of my kids in my math class are ones we had from last year.  Since we’re a homeschool co-op, most of us move up with our kids, repeating grade levels only if we have younger children.  As a result, we see the same faces year after year.  It’s no wonder we grow to love these other children as our own.  We’re with them a lot!  The kids in last year’s class knew what to expect when they came into my math class, but the new ones were shocked as I instructed them to stand in front of the door, with at least one hand up.  If you don’t know what the 50’s Club is, you can read about it here.

I don’t care what age your child is, or how proficient you think your child is with times tables, if your kid takes a math class with me, he or she will end up in the 50’s Club.  I cannot shout the praises of this review program loud enough!  I used the drills from Times Table Challenge, and it is the bomb-diggety!  Just make sure you make copies of the pages – do NOT use the book as a consumable, because the student might need more practice than just twice!



History – The Silk Road


We’re on the 2nd half of the Story of the World, Volume 2 – The Middle Ages, and we’re currently studying Marco Polo’s journey on the Silk Road.  The activity book gave me the idea of creating the little stopping points, but I added a little flair to it.

I played the part of the travelers’ (kids’) guide.  Before we started, I set up different spots around the school with signs.  We wound our way through the school, re-enacting the experience of traveling through two deserts.  When we came upon an “oasis,” there would be a snack, like trail mix or granola bars ‘hidden’ there for us.  We also received water from a “kind merchant” (another teacher in a room), and she gave us water bottles (all pre-planned!) to help us on our journey.

Our next stop was the Yellow River.  I had the kids sit on the tables in our classroom, and “row” with brooms and yardsticks.  I also used a fog machine for an eerie watery effect.  *Note:  Make sure you tell everyone else you’re running a fog machine in a school, because it looks an awful lot like SMOKE!  While they rowed, I told them more interesting facts about the Silk Road.

When we finally “landed,” we went down the hall to an unused room that had “merchants” waiting for us with a table of goods to trade.  Before this took place, I asked the kids to bring in about 3 items they no longer wanted.  I didn’t tell them what it was for.  The teacher I asked to help out with the merchant table was phenomenal!  She dressed as an African trader and really made the kids work for their trade!

All-in-all, it was a fabulous class!

Just in case you want to print off the signs and do your own Silk Road expedition, here are the ones I made:  Printable Silk Road Signs

Blood and Guts – Long Bone Dissection


What can make an entire class say, “Ooh!” and “Eww!” at the same time?  Dissecting.

At our co-op, we have the bomb-diggetiest mom who can land us just about any animal body part.  Mrs. Ferro, you rock out loud!

Here are some pictures of our eventful class today:

Look at this GIANT joint Mrs. Ferro found for us!  Each of the kids had a chance to hold this HEAVY set of bones and move them back and forth.

Blood and Guts – Bone Labeling Game


It really is difficult to learn the names of all our bones.  Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology is really quite a bit of information to soak up!  Yesterday, I made a game for my bulletin board to help my students with that issue.

I used the same cut-outs we’re using for our lapbooks, for consistency.  I really suggest Scholastic’s The Body Book, by Donald M. Silver and Patricia J. Wynne.  It gives a close-up, in-depth look at the body, while not going into it so heavily that the kids get overwhelmed.

I copied the skeleton onto cardstock, colored it, and cut it out.  …and cut.  …and cut.  I mounted the pieces onto colored poster board (it took two posters) and laminated it.  For the labels, I made the list below, printed it on cardstock, cut out the words, and laminated them.  Once I had all the labels laid out, I used Velcro strips to secure them to the poster.  Finally, I peeled all the labels off, and used a black Sharpie and a ruler to draw the lines to the bones that needed them for labeling purposes.

Here are the labels, if you wish to print them off.  I forgot PELVIS when I printed and laminated mine, but it’s on there for you.  🙂

Bone Game Labels

Ways to play:

1.  Have all the labels on the board.  Go through and have them touch the different bones.  Having interesting ways of association will help them remember the names.  For instance, have them relax their knees and shift their patella around, or have them wiggle their fingers and toes and call them “dancing phalanges.”

2.  Take the labels off the board.  As you add each label, play Simon Says.  “Simon says, touch your cranium.”  See if they can do it without seeing the labels.

3.  Divide the class into two teams.  Give the first person on each team a label.  Have them run up and stick it to the correct spot.  If they get it right, they run back and the next person on the team tries the next label.  The team that finishes their half of the label stack first, wins.

Blood and Guts – Making DNA


We made DNA out of marshmallows, Twizzlers, and toothpicks today!  The instructions for this super-easy project can be found here.

Each student got 2 Twizzlers, 9 each of marshmallows: green, orange, yellow, and pink, and 12 toothpicks

Each student got 2 Twizzlers, 9 each of marshmallows: green, orange, yellow, and pink, and 12 toothpicks


After leading them through the gene sequences, they produced some fine-looking DNA!

Here’s what one looks like before it’s twisted as a double-helix:

Schooled in Love:  Edible DNA

Schooled in Love: Edible DNA


Blood and Guts – Lapbook: Lesson 1


Blood & Guts.  At least, that’s what we’re calling it, because the kids think it’s a cool name.  What we’re actually studying is Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology (whew!).

We’re creating this wicked-awesome lapbook in the class, and I just thought I’d take pictures of my example piece as we go, so in case you’ve got a hankering to make one, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel so much.

Before we go on, let me just start off by stating that I have 14 kiddos in my B&G class.  *cough*  I do have a fabulous helper, Mrs. Sharkey, but 14 is still a LOT when you have stuff to read, assignments, experiments, projects, dissections, and then… the lapbook.  The Lord grants me a tiny shred of sanity every time I think about this class, and I think that’s why I keep going.  I also keep thinking maybe someday I’ll get a raise.  Oh. Wait.  I homeschool.

The base of the lapbook is from Knowledge Box Central.  (****UPDATE (10/15/2017)****  KBC moved their link.  It used to be divided in two purchases, but they’ve combined it into one.  Smart move on their part!)  Chapters 1-14 can be found here.

I could have stopped there, as it’s a nice lapbook, BUT… I didn’t.

I wanted to add body parts the kids could color, so I used Scholastic’s The Body Book, by Donald M. Silver and Patricia J. Wynne.  Now, THIS book is SO COOL!  You’ll see most of the parts as we progress through the year.  I could have stopped there, as now we have the makings of an awesome lapbook, BUT… I didn’t.

Now it’s my turn to step up the game.  I wanted to emphasize certain sections as well as create extra parts for our experiments and projects, so the .PDF files you’ll see listed below are ones I created to fill in some blanks and make it wicked-awesome.  Kind-of like Emeril:  Bam!  Kick it up a notch!

Please note that most of these lapbook parts I’ve created are with the idea that more than one student are being taught (I have 14 kids, remember!), and I try to conserve paper by having multiple foldables, etc. on one sheet.  If you’re only teaching one child, you’ll have extra parts.

Here’s what I have to add to Lesson 1:

L1 Lapbook – Humors – This is a supplemental foldable.

L1 Lapbook – Spontaneous Generation – This is a supplemental foldable.

L1 Lapbook – DNA – This is a supplemental foldable.

L1 Experiment – Mummifying an Apple – This can be found on page 21.

L1 Experiment – How Magnification Works – This can be found on page 26.

L1 Experiment – Choosy Cell – This can be found in Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Anatomy Notebooking Journal, Lesson 1.

We also test in this class, and unfortunately, Apologia doesn’t have a “teacher’s manual” or a “test booklet,” so that just means we homeschoolers have to come up with one on our own in order to supplement our needs.  So, below you’ll find the test I created.  As an added blessing, there’s an answer key for you as well.

L1 Test

L1 Test – Answer Key

Want to see what the lapbook looks like?  I’ll show you Lesson 1.  I’ve already started building Lesson 2, and you’ll see a little peek of it. but you’ll have to wait until we’ve finished before I show you that one.

Here are the rest of the lapbook parts available:

Lapbook:  Lesson 2 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 3 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 4 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 4B can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 6 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lessons 7 and 8 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 9 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 10 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 11 can be found here.


Creative Writing – Defender!

Here I stand - Defender of my child!

Here I stand – Defender of my child!

Inspiration for Creative Writing comes at us from all angles.  This week’s assignment comes from the picture above.

I had the kids write down their greatest fear, anonymously, on an index card, then bring them to me one at a time.  Using a list of their names, I assigned a number to their name, and then put a matching number on their card.  So, Dominic’s card might be an 8, and Claudia’s card might be a 2.  I did that so when I passed them back out, they would get a different person’s card.  Once they got the card, they weren’t allowed to show anyone that fear.

The assignment is to take that fear, and become the valiantly defending teddy, just like the picture.  It was the writer’s job to defend his or her “child” against the horrible fear (spiders being a top one) in some sort of adventure.  Some asked if they could draw a picture to go along with it.  Aren’t they wonderful??