Gingerbread Anatomy and Pet Store Science!
Last week, November 7th, co-opers were very busy studying animal instincts and our anatomies!
The Muons continued their experiments with Colby Jack, the little white science mouse we acquired. After two weeks without running his maze, Colby ran his maze a lot slower then he had previously. We reviewed some of the terms we learned, and then the kids constructed two unique habitats to run a new experiment designed to see whether a “feeder mouse” might have some genetic instincts to run, hide, or escape when spotting a bird of prey overhead. One habitat was designed to work like an open prairie, while the other contained several objects to hide under. We crafted a large “bird of prey” cutout, fastened it to a stick, and slowly glided it over the top of each habitat while the mouse was inside. To our surprise, little Colby was completely oblivious to the big bad bird of prey, even with added realistic sound effects. Upon discussion, we determined that the lack of instinct to run and flee was probably genetically bred out of his being a poor lowly feeder mouse who probably has a long line of pet store ancestors.
First we did an exercise where the kids acted out an animal and the audience tried to guess what animal they were portraying. Second, the kids chose a puppet and were interacting with one another. This exercise was to get them accustomed to improvisation. Third, we read two plays: the little red hen and king midas. The kids took on various roles and acted out each scene.
The kids are creating their own anatomy. They were given a skeleton, brain, heart, lungs, digestive system and kidney system to cut out. We traced their bodies on a large paper and they will assemble the parts they cut out. They will then have to assemble these parts on their paper bodies. This way they can learn where each system is located and we will discuss their functions.
We had fun with the story, The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone. Many of the kids were familiar with the tale as we read the book, acted out the story with puppets and then colored a gingerbread “person” of their own to take home.