Body Actions

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Body Smart, Early Learning, Range of Reading, Science, Self Smart, Vocabulary | 0 comments

body-actionsThere seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of days left in a school year and the amount of time students are able to sit still and focus.  Now is the time to grab interesting, interactive, move-your-body books like Body Actions by Shelley Rotner and David A. White.

Body Actions is the kind of informational book with enough facts to be useful in a science unit and it’s still engaging enough to read for pleasure. Shelley Rotner’s fabulous photographs of kids are the basis for all the pictures,  and David A. White made the illustrations that go over the photos and show what’s happening inside each body. Facts like “you have 206 bones in your body, and more than 50 are in your hands” are shown with a photograph of a kid’s hands playing the piano and one hand has all the bones drawn inside it. Each body system – skeletal, cardiac, digestive, etc. – is represented in kid-friendly terms.

Share Body Actions with your students. After you amaze them with all the cool anatomy facts (you have about 650 muscles in your body!) let them test out their own personal models. In the book you’ll learn that “you take about 14 breaths a minute.” Get out the stopwatch and have your students test this for themselves. You can do these experiments as a whole class or create a center for students to try them in small groups or pairs. Students can time themselves for one minute and count each breath. Then, create challenges. How many breaths do you take after 20 jumping jacks? How many breaths do you take after sitting quietly for two minutes? Do your students blink about 15 times a minute? If your digestive tract is about six times longer than you are tall, measure yourself and multiply your answer to find out just how long that tract is.

If you have a digital camera and a printer, take photos of your students in action and let them draw in on the printed photo their digestive system, their lungs, their heart, etc. Or get the big rolls of paper out, let students trace each other’s bodies so they can make a life-size drawing of their amazing interiors.  Spend a little extra time outside if you can, and put those bodies in action!

For more information, please visit shelleyrotner. com.

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