Life Cycle - Human Biology (1A)
Pre Lab 

  • Exploring the human body.
  • Discovering the human senses.
  • nervous system
  • organ
  • senses

Students use a worksheet to explore their senses.



The human body is a beautifully engineered structure.  The body has a general plan.  We all have arms, legs, a head, ears, and eyes on the outside of our bodies.  We also have similar parts on the inside of our bodies.  We all have one heart, two lungs, one brain, two kidneys, and one stomach. 

Understanding and learning about the human body is a complicated subject.  If you just take an organ or system and emphasize its function, you must tell students how the system fits into the rest of the body's functions. 

You can introduce the parts of the body, both internal and external, by using the organs that allow humans to operate their senses.  The nervous system controls the actions and sensations of all the parts of your body by using a complex network of nerves, which carry electrical signals to and from the brain.  The brain and spinal cord compose the central nervous system, acting as the central clearing house.  One part of your nervous system controls your body's relationship to the external environment (somatic) and another part controls your body's internal organs (autonomic).  The human body has five major senses which operate to gather information from the world around us, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.  Any stimulus to one of the sense areas is detected by sensory nerves and is sent to the brain for interpretation.

The eye (an organ) acts like a camera.  Human vision is stereoscopic, which means seeing in three dimensions.  When we look at objects two slightly different images are transmitted to the brain, and are merged so the brain can interpret the image that we see.  This allows us to see objects which stand away from the background, not flat like you see in a photograph. 

The ear (an organ) is specially made to receive sound waves that are sent out by vibrating objects and converts them into sensations we call sound.

The nose contains the nostrils and organs of smell. The stimulus that excites smell is chemical, for example onion and garlic give off different chemical sensations. 

The tongue is the organ that controls taste.  Taste is also a chemical stimulus.  Things to be tasted must touch the tongue, sometimes, taste become combined with smell because of the connection between the mouth and the back of the nose.

Touch is created by stimulating the skin (the largest organ of the body) through the sensations of touch, pressure, pain, heat and cold. 

  1. Read or have children read aloud My Five Senses by Aliki.  If you reading to the children have them fill in the parts of the story as you read to them.
  2. Hand out the worksheet and have the students draw themselves and then label their sense organs on their face.  You may have to show students how to draw curly or straight hair or other modifications that can transform this picture into a picture of themselves. 

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