Sunday, December 29, 2013

Human Body - Week 25 - Reproduction

Week 25: We made a model of the reproductive system.

A human body study would not be complete without covering the reproductive system. During the past year we began our human body unit study with cells and progressed through the body covering the digestive system, the nervous system, liver, spleen, circulatory system and so much more. Kids are naturally curious about reproduction and incorporating the topic as part of the human body study seemed natural.

Reproduction is a highly personal topic especially in regards to what we tell our kids. In our house we have been honest and answered all of the very detailed kid questions. Therefore, before beginning this lesson the kids had a good understanding of reproduction. In fact, the two oldest kids witnessed their sister's birth.


From our prior discussions the kids knew that daddies put babies into mommies bellies with their penis. When sperm go in they search for an egg inside the mommy. Mommies have three holes; one for urine, one for feces and one for babies. Daddies have two holes; one for feces and the other is for urine and sperm. Babies go in and out through the same hole. Daddies get to decide when babies go in, but mommies have to say it's alright.

All the kids knew was discussed mostly in the car over the course of several years and through many questions............ (I'm taking a deep breath.)

The reproductive system is the only human body system that takes a boy and a girl to make it work. All the other systems are contained within our bodies. I taught this lesson much like my numerous other human body lessons. We made a model using craft supplies and household items and talked about what the model represented and how the body worked.

First we made simple models of boy parts and girl parts.


Girl Parts
The red liquid (water with red food coloring) represented blood. The plastic bag was the uterus. Two yellow straws were stuck into the plastic bag near the top and represented the fallopian tubes and the pink straw at the bottom was taped into a hole in the bag and represented the vagina. There was also a bowl of tiny beads to represent the eggs (not pictured above, but can be seen below).

Boy Parts
The two glasses of yellow liquid (water and yellow food coloring) represented the testes. The syringe represented the penis.
The girls handled the girl parts and my son took care of the boy parts. The girls had a lot to do. We began with a uterus full of blood and then began counting. (1-28 to represent a 28 day cycle.)

As we counted from 1 to 5 the blood was drained from the uterus (menstruation).


We continued counting. At 14, a small bead (egg) was placed into one of the straws (fallopian tubes) which traveled to the plastic bag (uterus). Red water (blood) filled the uterus as we counted from 15 to 28.

No fertilization took place. We began counting again from 1 to 5 blood while blood and the egg drained from the uterus.

Up to this point my son did not have any tasks, but kept himself busy playing.

Finally we told him it was time. At 14 another egg traveled down the fallopian tube and he was able to add some yellow water (sperm) to the uterus.

I told the kids that if the water turned orange they would get a baby, because that meant that the sperm had found the egg.

So he put in yellow water several times and the girls wanted him to.

They got a baby and the girls wondered how it was going to fit through the straw. I told them that normally it stretches, but they would have to put a hole into the plastic bag (uterus) to get it out. We didn't talk about c-sections, but it would have been a good opportunity.

They got a baby bird?

This project turned out to be a very relaxed way to talk about an uncomfortable subject. As they get older we will begin to talk about STD's and other related topics, but I think this is definitely enough for now. The activity raised a few more questions, but it answered many more than it raised. My favorite quote came from my six year old daughter at the end; "I don't like the girl part. It's messy." If she only knew how insightful she was.

If you've made it this far, thank you for reading about our reproduction activity. I hope you enjoyed it and didn't find it too uncomfortable.

This is the last post in our human body unit, but there is much more science to come. Over the next few weeks I have some Astronomy posts planned and then will be moving onto Earth Science.





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3 comments:

  1. You have a genius for coming up with these models, Julie. I'm definitely going to do this with my kids when we next do the human body. I've really enjoyed the whole series and I'm looking forward to your 2014 science posts.
    Happy New Year - may it be happy and healthy for you all.

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  2. Great ideas! I am definitely pinning for when I need to talk to my kids a bit more in depth!

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  3. I LOVE this!!! Kuddos to you for not shying away from such an important topic that parents need to be sharing with their children!!! This looks to be a fantastic activity! I'm pinning this so that I can do this with my own children. Awesome activity, that really helps the kids "see" what's really going on. Loved the comment your daughter made! Ha! Thank you for sharing! Found you on Family Fun Friday link-up!

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