One of the things I love the most about Kindergarten is teaching in themes. When I can engage my students in a theme, over multiple subject areas it makes me feel like I have given them a very natural and holistic learning opportunity. Being a teacher at a Christian school brings a whole other aspect of infusing a Christian worldview into my themes as well. If you have been following my blog for a while you have probably read some of my posts on Christian worldview. (If not, you can catch up here). But today I wanted to give you some hands-on ideas that I use during my Human Body Unit!
I think that this particular unit works so well because we are literally learning about our bodies, how they work and WHO made them! The Friday before I start this particular unit I love “teasing” a preview of what we will be learning to my students. I read them “God Knows My Name” written by Debby Anderson. This book does a great job of illustrating to my kiddos how much God loves them and knows them. Then we make a list of all the things we can brainstorm that God knows about us. This leads perfectly into a discussion about the fact that God knows us because He made us. Then I tell the kiddos that when they come back Monday morning, we will be learning all about our amazing bodies that God made.
One of my favorite verses is an ongoing theme through out this unit. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
During this unit, my main objective is to explore 7 main parts of the body. These include the brain, heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, bones and muscles. Each day we focus on one particular part, plus an extra day of the five senses right after we learn about our brains.
To start off each day, I give my students a “Super Hero Challenge Question” that I want them to be able to answer by the end of our day. I make a big deal of bringing the card out everyday and letting a special helper put it on the board. While the students move through all the centers, I keep bringing them back to this main idea. This is a great way to bring a little higher level thinking into your daily routine too!
Each student receives a “Super Human Body” journal that has a short non-fiction paragraph with comprehension questions. Every day we talk about how to read non-fiction and find the answer to our questions by looking back through the text. My students also trace an outline of their bodies and add the daily “body part” to it every day.
These “bodies” are a highlight of the kindergarten year and the kids love bringing them home to show their parents everything they have learned. My daughter still has her’s taped to the back of her closet door from 4 years ago!
We also do a hands-on experiment that highlights what each specific body part does. These are super fun and are a great way to utilize parent volunteers in your classroom. Below is a little video of how we learn the four main parts of blood during “The Heart” day.
Then after we rotate through the centers, we come back together as a large group and answer our “Challenge Question”! This is where I tie in the biblical worldview learning points.
For example, one challenge question is “How can you use your brain to glorify God?” So we make an anchor chart based on Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
That question directly asks about God, but another challenge question might not… “Describe how healthy food choices make your body feel?” For a challenge like this, we talk about healthy food but also talk about how God directs us to treat our bodies like a temple. Eating healthy foods is a way to take good care of our bodies and therefore is obeying that command.
At the end of our unit each of the kiddos present their paper “body” in front of the class; naming all 7 body parts, 5 things that they have learned about their body, and one way they can glorify God with their bodies. That is a lot of great info and through all of the engaging learning centers they know the information well. They love this unit because not only is it hands-on and fun, but they also are learning about something that makes sense for their daily life and walk with God.
I hope these ideas can help you in your own classroom. If you would like to check out my “Super Human Body Christian Worldview” resource click here or head on over to my Kinderbirdies TPT Store. I have also included a copy of the “Super Hero Challenge Questions” as a free download. Just click on the picture!
Do you teach about the Human Body in your Kindergarten class? I’d love to hear your ideas!