Studying the human body with K-3rd-grade students is all about having fun, doing cool experiments, and exploring good books. With these lesson plans, all you need to do is purchase a few supplies and books and you are set.
You’ll spend 12 weeks studying different systems of the body, taking 1-2 days each week to read, work on projects and experiments, or check out cool information and activities online.
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Your kids will build their own human body, adding in all their ‘insides’ as they study them. They’ll learn all about their brain, heart, circulatory system, muscles, bones, joints, and many other topics. The planning work has been done for you with these lesson plans. Just gather your books, supplies, and lesson plans and you are ready to go!
Human Body Activities & Lesson Plan Supplies
I’ve three kids and all of them have now passed the third grade. As a result, we’ve managed to refine what we use to teach our kids about the human body at this level. Over the years we’ve kept some of the best resources and activities and replaced old, underperforming ones with new.
Before you get started teaching your 3rd grader about the human body I suggest purchasing the following;
This book includes more than 30 fun ways for kids ages 4-8 to learn all about their bodies.
From crosswords to mazes and more, this activity book on the human body for kids is bursting with all kinds of play that gets young learners interested in what makes them tick.
I originally purchased this #1 best-seller thanks to the incredible reviews on Amazon – and over 9,000 other parents weren’t wrong. This book is indeed incredible!
This interactive poster with various sheets for different levels is the perfect way to learn how our body parts, organs, muscles, and bones function.
The posters allow kids to learn about bodies and test their knowledge using the quiz modes.
This poster has won multiple awards and it’s easy to see why.
We love The Magic School Bus products and this Magic School Bus Human Body Lab is no different.
The kit is suitable for ages 5+ making it perfect for third grade. Alongside the kit there’s also the books from Scholastic and Netflix series that work perfectly in partnership.
Kit comes with all supplies needed (except for common household items) and detailed experiment cards with guidance to make this educational science STEM kit for kids a great learning toy.
This is a relatively old book, having been published back in 2009. That said, it’s still incredibly informative and often as a result of its age relatively affordable.
You can read how your voice box works, how your tongue tastes food, how your DNA is different from your family and friends, and more.
Alongside these facts you’ll find 28 drawings that can be colored in. Each of these drawings explore muscles, bones, lungs, and more.
This award winning book is by the same company as the My First Human Body book above and is therefore divided into educational / fact pages and coloring pages.
Designed for children aged between 8 and 12 this can be a little advance for third graders in some places – keep this in mind and come back to any areas they struggle with in fourth grade instead (we did this with two of my three kids).
This award winning book is a fantastic way to demonstrate the power of touch.
The picture-book biography of Louis Braille who was just five years old when he lost his sight. Louis was clever, and determined to live like everyone else. More than anything, he wanted to be able to read so he invented his own alphabet.
This DVD allows you to observe 60 different science experiements. This level 3 DVD includes; botany and biology, with a focus on the wonders of nature and is suitable for grades 3 through to 5.
There’s also a level K, 1, 2 and 4 alonside this level 3 DVD which is well worth picking up if you’re looking to get creative with your science experiements.
While only a handful of the experiements are applicable for the human body lesson plan, this is a DVD we come back to again and again with different lesson plans over the course of multiple years.
Human Body Activities & Lesson Plan
Once you’ve purchased your human body resources you’re ready to get started with your 12 week lesson plan. Again from multiple experiences repeating this lesson plan with my three kids I’ve learnt a thing or two and managed to refine the plan to make it the very best that it can be.
By all means if you’ve suggestions or feedback then let me know in the comments below. I’d love to be able to add as much information to this post for other homeschooling parents as possible.
Week 1 & 2 – Studying The Human Body
We spent the first two weeks of this 12-week curriculum studying the human body. We started by placing the i-Poster My Body onto the wall and using the interactive features of the body sheet & skeleton sheet to learn about different areas of the body – we also came back to the skeleton sheet in the last two weeks of the lesson plan.
After that, we read a few sections from the Human Body Activity Book for Kids: Hands-On Fun for Grades K-3. My third grader dictated sentences to me (with a bit of prompting). At the end of each reading session (we had five 20-minute sessions over the course of the two weeks) I asked my third grader to tell me one thing they had learnt.
This is a great way to ensure that the information they are consuming is actually being registered. If reading aloud like this demonstrates that your child isn’t able to consuming information in this way then you might want to look at a different method for this area of the lesson plan.
We also went through and read through the relevant pages within the My First Human Body Book (there’s around four) before colouring in some of the relevant diagram sheets. During the coloring my third grader was prompted to tell me what the body part was called and any relevant facts.
At the end of both week one and we two we came back to the i-Poster My Body and completed the embedded quiz for the human body. You could see the process my third grader had made based on their answers at the end of week one, and the end of week two.
We’ve found that the kids seeing the progress / improvements first hand themselves in this way can be incredibly motivating.
Week 3 & 4 – Brain & Nervous System
In weeks three and four we moved onto learning about the brain and the nervous system. We spent the majority of week three simply taking turns reading from My First Book About The Brain.
As this book is suitable for 8 to 12 year olds some areas are slightly more advanced – don’t be put off if your child doesn’t fully grasp all the concepts, instead for two of my three kids we simply put this book aside and recovered it again in fourth grade.
One of the things we discussed was how our brain causes our body to react without time for conscious thought. To test this we did a simple experiment – we used a ruler to test our reaction time. We took turns dropping the ruler while the other person had to catch it.
One person holds an end of the ruler while the other person keeps their hand slightly below the other end. The person holding the ruler lets go and the other person tries to catch it.
There is some coverage of the brain and nervous system in The Magic School Bus: Human Body Lab and on i-Poster My Body. We used this to renforce facts we’d learnt together from the My First Book About The Brain book before moving onto the coloring sheets at the end of the week.
Week 5 & 6 – Seeing & Hearing
Weeks five and six have to be our favourite as a family when it comes to the human body lesson plan as it’s super hands on allowing for lots of activities and engagement.
One of our favourite activities from these two weeks was taking some colored crayons into a dark room. Once inside we had to try and determine which crayon was what color. It quickly became apparant that it’s very difficult to see colors in the dark – they are all various shades of grey and black.
You can expand on this experiment further with additional concepts highlighted in articles like this one.
We were able to reinforce the lessons learnt in weeks 3 and 4 by discussing hour our brains are able to use the infromation we recieve through our eyes and ears. There was also some brief additional information relating to seeing and hearing in The Magic School Bus: Human Body Lab which we managed to cover in one afternoon session.
Week 7 & 8 – Taste & Smell
For weeks 7 & 8 we expanded on our senses with taste and smell. Much like weeks 5 & 6, this is a very hands-on couple of weeks with some fantastic activities and experiments.
Our third grader and I spent some time watching the InquisiKids Discover & Do Science Level 3 DVD. This DVD is perfect for grades 3 – 5 and includes more than 60 different science experiements – not all of these are applicable, to biology specifically however, this DVD does come in handy for other science experiements in 3rd grade and beyond.
After my third grader watched a couple of different experiements I had them narrate back to me what they had learnt. We discussed the different processes used, the impact and results. These DVDs are a huge hit in our homeschool, we have the full range from K through to level 4 – more details on this is in the resources section above.
We recapped the i-Poster My Body this week covering different things we’ve learnt on senses over the past couple of weeks. I’ve found these posters to be a great way to really wrap everything we’ve learnt together. It very much ‘connects the dots’.
Week 9 & 10 – Touch
These two weeks were the last weeks of us covering the senses in this human body lesson plan for third graders. After reading a couple of pages from Human Body Activity Book for Kids: Hands-On Fun for Grades K-3 we completed some experiments from the InquisiKids Discover & Do Science Level 3 DVD.
These experiements included rubbing three different round objects onto my third graders elbow to see if they could tell them apart. My third grader quickly learnt that it’s much easier to tell things apart with your hands than any other part of your body.
We then completed the touch / skin projects / pages in The Magic School Bus: Human Body Lab. There’s not many specifically on this topic however, they do a great job of summarising the key points and break up some of the different resources.
The core of our two weeks on touch was based around the incredible book, Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille. It was really nice to be able to discuss how those who loose senses are able to adapt and use other senses. I’ve no doubt this book is one we’ll likely come back to in fourth and fifth grade too.
We finished this fortnight with some simple activities such as making copies of our finger prints and looking at them through a magnifying glass.
Week 11 & 12 – Bones & Joints
Our final two weeks of this incredible 12 week human body lesson plan finished with us covering the bones and joints. We began by adding on the bones and joints poster onto the i-Poster My Body and going through the various different bones. Much like in weeks 1 and 2 we completed the quiz for this poster page at the end of week 11 and again at the end of week 12.
All my third graders are always so impressed when they see the progress they’ve managed to make in just one week.
I then had my third grader read aloud (again with some prompting) the Human Body Activity Book for Kids: Hands-On Fun for Grades K-3. We completed some of the activities from this book this week before going over the skeleton included with The Magic School Bus: Human Body Lab.
Nearing the end of the week we finished with the coloring pages from My First Human Body Book which features some incredible and highly detailed diagrams.
There’s a whole host of additional bones resources you can purchase depending on the number of kids and budget you have they maybe worth while if you wanted to extend your learning on this subject. My wishlist currently includes;