“The human body is the most complex system ever created. The more we learn about it, the more appreciation we have about what a rich system it is.” Bill Gates
As referenced in the quote above, for our final UOI of the year, grade 4 inquires into our unique and complex body systems. Grade 4 continued to follow the inquiry cycle model for our Body Systems unit and participated in “Tuning In” activities with a video provocation, anticipation guide, and K-W-L chart.
Using the Central Idea, “The Interdependence Between Organs and Body Systems Contribute to Our Overall Health” and Lines of Inquiry: Organs and Body Systems and How They Work (function), How Organs and Body Systems are Interdependent (connection), and Conditions that Impact the Health of Body Systems (causation), as a guide and focus, grade 4 then ‘unpacked’ the Central Idea and the Lines of Inquiry and wrote a ‘kid friendly’ version. Students then began ‘Finding Out’ about body systems and worked on several vocabulary assignments in order to gain an understanding of important unit terms.
Continuing with ‘Finding Out’ and even ‘Going Further’, using a wide range of electronic resources, students then began researching body systems through the lens of the concepts: function, connection, and causation. As body systems can be an exhaustive topic, grade 4 is focusing on 6 body systems: Circulatory, Respiratory, Digestive, Skeletal, Muscular, and Nervous. To support students in their research, they are organized into groups of four with each group researching 2 body systems. They will then be asked to interactively share their findings with the class. As this is our final unit of the year, students are expected to utilize the many skills that they have acquired and/or honed throughout the year (research, independent work habits, note taking, paraphrasing, etc…). The depth of their research and quest for knowledge about their chosen body systems largely depends on individual motivation and initiative (as long as basic questions from the lines of inquiry are being answered). Be sure to ask a 4th grader to share with you what they have learned about body systems and how to stay healthy.