In February, Hutchison junior kindergarten girls celebrated Valentine’s Day through the eyes of a scientist by learning about the characteristics of the human heart. After comparing the size and shape of a real human heart to the more familiar heart shapes they see around them on Valentine’s Day, the girls independently researched the functions of the heart through explorations in books, iPads, SmartBoard activities, and hand-on experiences.
During their month-long study, girls compared the similarities and differences between veins and arteries, learned about the four chambers of the heart, and discovered that the valves act like doors opening and shutting to guide blood flow. Whole group, small group, and independent learning center activities built the girls’ knowledge and vocabulary about proper diets for heart health, direction of blood flow, rhythm of heart beats, reading a pulse, characteristics of heart tissue, and the purpose of the circulatory system. The highlight of the study was the much-anticipated opportunity to put the girls’ knowledge into action by dissecting a sheep’s heart in the upper school science lab.