Blood and Circulatory System

After studying about circulatory system, Kabir put together a human anatomy puzzle and he discussed the circulatory system and the function of heart and lungs with his father.

Human Anatomy Puzzle
Human Anatomy Puzzle

Also, we made fake blood. We found the recipe for fake blood online. We added marshmallows to the recipe to represent white blood cells. Kabir enjoyed drinking blood but Arjun found the idea repelling and wouldn’t try a sip.

Animal Study

We studied characteristics of few animals in the last 3 weeks of school. After studying about each one, I would let him watch related videos on national geographic website. Then he made a mini-book for each animal we studied. He wrote down any 10 facts about the animal that interests him. We studied about Tigers, Chimpanzees, Polar Bears, Armadillos, Bats, Camels, Lions, Elephants, Rhinoceros, Giraffes, Beavers, Sloths, and Kangaroos.

On Sunday, we took the kids to the Memphis Zoo. There Kabir did a scavanger hunt and marked his mini-books with a sticker after finding that particular animal in the zoo and then he wrote a new fact about that animal that we didn’t know. It was very enlightening. We couldn’t find Sloths, Kangaroos, Beavers and Rhinoceros. We found Bonobos who are in the same family of Apes as Chimpanzees and so, we marked off Chimpanzees.

For Arjun, we made a simple mini-book with photos that he cut and glued himself and I wrote the name of the animal in the back of the mini-book. He marked off his minibook with sticker too. Then he learnt the letter that the animal started with and marked off with sticker in the alphabet chart. For example, after seeing Giraffe, he added sticker to Giraffe mini-book and to the letter G in his alphabet chart. He enjoyed it so much that he carried all his stuff by himself in his bag.

Taste Buds and Teeth Cleaning

We did couple of small experiments after we studied about teeth and tongue. Kabir requested to do the taste experiment as he has been doing this since last 2 years or so. I blindfolded him and he tried to tell what is it just by tasting it. This time we kept it simple and just tasted 6 things: sugar, salt, mustard, pickle, honey, and nutella.

Tasting Experiment
Tasting Experiment

Then we did the following “brush your teeth” experiment. This is what he wrote in his science journal.

15 Aug. 2013 – Day 1

We hard-boiled six eggs.
We put one in coffee, one in Coke, one in Sprite, one in grapefruit juice, one in milk, and one in water. Then we left them overnight for sixteen hours.

August 16 – Day 2

We transferred the eggs into bowls.
The eggs are stained in the following order:
Coffee – most stained
Coke – less stained
Sprite – lesser stained
Milk – hardly stained
Water – no stain

The egg we put in juice turned out to be covered with darker brown coat (for all the eggs were light brown).
We brushed the eggs with toothbrush and toothpaste.

The results were in the following lines:
milk and water are stainless, but Sprite and Coffee have caused discoloration of the eggs (coffee gave a dark brown coat, and Sprite gave it a white coat), and the discoloration couldn’t be brushed off, and Coke also has made a slight discoloration on the eggs which could not be removed. But grapefruit juice has caused discoloration of the egg, made freckles, and took out the outer thin layer of the shell.

Digestive System

This week, Kabir and I learnt about digestive system. Then we did an experiment as outlined below. It doesn’t sound as exciting as it is for the kid doing this experiment.

First, we took some graham crackers.

Feeding Graham Crackers
Feeding Graham Crackers

A fork was our teeth. It was hard to eat graham crackers as it was too dry. So, we added some water as saliva.

Saliva makes it easy to chew
Saliva makes it easy to chew

Then, we added Coke to compensate for our digestive juices in stomach. Then we added our food to a ziploc bag and our hands acted as muscles to further disintegrate our food.

Muscles disintegrating our food in stomach
Muscles disintegrating our food in stomach

Then, we added food to our small intestine (a stocking). The nutrients seep out of the small intestine.

Nutrients seeping out of small intestine
Nutrients seeping out of small intestine

Then, we used paper towel to soak water out of large intestine.

Water being soaked from large intestine
Water being soaked from large intestine

Finally, we need to visit the restroom. Kabir did go the extra mile but let’s leave it at that!

Ready for a visit to restroom
Ready for a visit to restroom

Kabir had so much fun doing this that it was so worth it. He explained the digestive system so well to his grandparents after this experiment. Then we took a rope and a yarn (as we didn’t have enough rope at home) and measured and compared it next to each other to get a visual idea of how long each of the organs involved in digestive system are. Kabir measured them himself. He converted the feet to inches and did a great job!

mouth (3 inches)
esophagus (10 inches)
stomach (6 inches)
small intestine (15 feet)
large intestine (4 feet)

Comparison of digestive system organs
Comparison of digestive system organs

Even though, he had understood the digestive system very well by now and there was no need for further experiments but he wanted to make a working model of digestive system and so, we did. It didn’t work as well but he enjoyed it. We used funnel for mouth, a fat straw for esophagus, rubber gloves for stomach, a transparent pipe for small intestine and stocking for large intestine.

Working model of digestive system
Working model of digestive system

Building a Nest: Science Project

Last week, Kabir built a nest and grew appreciation for the bird’s talent of building a nest.

This is the first nest he built using leaves, twigs and liquid starch (to compensate for the bird’s saliva). We tried putting it on a tree and it disintegrated.

Nest with leaves, twigs and liquid starch

This is the second nest he built using pine straw, leaves, mud and liquid starch (to compensate for the bird’s saliva).

Nest
Nest

We browsed following web pages to see different kind of nests:
http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-15-incredible-photographs-birds-nests
http://www.biokids.umich.edu/guides/tracks_and_sign/build/birdnests/
http://liveandlearnfarm.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Zoology-Lesson-5-Nesting.pdf