Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's All About the Heart

Wow. It's been a long time since I've written a post, and I hate to be away so long. We've been terribly busy -- the kind of busy I deplore -- running around "with our heads cut off," which Himself always says, no matter how often I remind him that it's "like chickens with their heads cut off." A gruesome image either way, frankly.


The girls and I have been studying the circulatory system these last couple of weeks. As always, I like to pass along any nifty resources we find.

First, we read A Drop of Blood, by Paul Showers.  This is an excellent book, which features easy-to-understand text and high-quality illustrations and photos. But I have to say our edition featured a boy and his dog, not a vampire. I would have eschewed the latter, since I have had it up to HERE with vampires.  We also skimmed through The Heart: Our Circulatory System, by Seymour Simon, more for the wonderful full-page color photos than anything else, although the text is also very good.

Next, we hit the 'Net. There are dozens of websites devoted to children's exploration of the human body, and it took quite a while to surf through them in an attempt to narrow down the list for my children's perusal. Here are the ones I found most useful:

Your Heart and Circulatory System, from KidsHealth, was a hit. It has a Listen feature the girls used (with headphones) while they read along. The text is engaging and informative (and includes easy pronunciation guides), and each page features some sort of graphic, either an illustration or even a video. There's a Spanish version as well.

NOVA Online's Map of the Human Heart is basic but helpful, with a handy labeled diagram.

Discovery Health's How Your Heart Works is packed with information. We didn't delve too deeply here, but I was impressed with the content. The graphics are quite good.

Anatomy of the Human Heart from Texas Heart Institute features a fab Flash illustration. Move your mouse cursor over a cross-section of the heart for handy details on major heart parts.

Here's a superb short video (about three minutes long) on the circulatory system.

Enchanted Learning offers a printable heart diagram to label, but my girls preferred this drag-and-drop Flash version on Science Learning. I liked that they could work at it until the parts were correctly labeled.

These are merely a sampling of what's available, of course, and you may find via links or at your library other sources to better suit you or your children's learning styles. In just a short while, your children will be entertaining dinner guests with their knowledge of how scabs form.

Or perhaps you'll fare better than I in that regard. We can always hope!

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