Thursday, 13 November 2014

Learning about the muscular system

We are continuing our studies of the human body going over every system.  We finished up learning about the skeletal system and the joints and have spent a week or two reviewing the muscular system.  I am doing my own curriculum finding resources on the internet and at the library to try to make our unit studies interesting.

First we watched this video:

We are loving the crash course biology lessons, very thorough.

I am requiring the kids to remember 12 of the largest muscle groups and we did a work sheet.  We continue to review the skeletal bones, joints, movements and now muscles briefly every day.

We have talked about how the muscles work and did a simple experiment that I found on the internet

Recreating the arm joint using popsicle sticks and rubber bands help to demonstrate the contraction and extension of the opposing muscles groups.

We then decide to dissect a chicken wing to take a closer look at muscles, tendons, ligaments as well as reviewing bones, and joints.

There are many videos or slide shows on the web demonstrating how to dissect a chicken wing...this is the one we used

First we examine how a chicken wing moved and decided we had the left wing

I removed the skin (and have decided I need to buy a dissecting kit as a kitchen knife is just not adequate for this type of job)  I didn't allow the children to do this part for fear of them cutting themselves as my knives are not very sharp

Removing the skin was harder than it looks but we examined that the skin is called fascia which is a fibrous tissue we saw a great example here

Next we look at the muscle and tendons and several times moved the wing where we could clearly see muscle contraction 

and muscle stretching

We observed and located several tendons 

located a muscle group and was able to show the children  that if I pulled the muscle the wing flexed

Looked at joints and examined the difference between bone and cartilage found at the top of  the bone and discussed the purpose.

Examined the difference between fat and muscle, tendons and ligaments.

Identified ligaments

MarioFan is a little squeamish about handling the raw meat due to sensory issue but with encouragement  tried it for a few seconds.

This wraps up our unit on muscles and we will move on to the Nervous system:)


  1. That is a very cool science project. Also marking this one for later :) We are working our way through the human body right

  2. Wow, that was just so awesome. I just love your method of teaching. I am sure your children have better retention of what you teach than going to school. I enjoyed reading about the chicken dissecting; it was a great tutorial.
    Blessings for you all!