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Friday, June 12, 2015

Human Body Systems: An Honor to Teach Information that Empowers

Yesterday we continued our study of the human body with an emphasis on the birth process. Prior to teaching this unit, we invited parents to a unit preview and we also shared the video links so that families could preview the information with their children.

I began with the connection to last year's animal adaptation study by discussing that our bodies are made for survival, and the reason bodies change during puberty is to ready bodies for reproduction. If we didn't reproduce, our species would not survive.

Throughout our discussion, students asked questions and shared their own knowledge. When religious beliefs or specific family values were shared, I reminded students that we are a public school and we respect the legal rights/beliefs of all religions and families, and it's important to discuss those specific points with their families. I did point out as well that human babies, unlike many species, require lots of care and nurturing in early life, and it's best to have babies when you are ready to care for those children with as much love and nurturing as possible so those children can have a good life.

Later, we watched the amazing TedTalk, From Conception to Birth. The film illustrates the process from conception to birth with amazing virtual models. The narrator and creator of the models, Alexander Tsiaras, continually marvels at, and describes, amazing human body processes and the incredible algorithms that underly our physical survival. The music that accompanies the conception to birth illustration matches the awe with which Tsiaras presents the information.

After that, students continued to share stories and ask questions. I answered with the scientific facts, and many students who were well informed added details.

It is an honor to teach information that empowers students. As I told them, when you understand your body well, you are healthier because you can take better care of yourself. Also, when you're healthy, you have the energy and strength to do what makes you happy and live a good life. The more we know, the better choices we can make, and making good choices for ourselves and those we care for leads to greater happiness and success.