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Memphis Homeschool

Enrichment Cooperative


Adventurers Revised Class Schedule

Posted by Andrea Simmons on March 26, 2016 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Adventurers Spring 2016

Let’s Learn about our Bodies!


Lesson Schedule

January 19 – Bones: Structure and Joints

January 26 – Bones: Anatomy and Healing

February 2 – Muscles

February 9 – Co-op Break

February 16 – Digestion: Mouth and Teeth

February 23 – Digestion: Internal System and Process

March 1 – Co-op CANCELLED

March 8 – Assembly Day: Invention Convention

March 15 – Lungs and Breathing

March 22 – Co-op Break

March 29 – Heart and Circulation

April 5 – Brain and nerves

April 12- Assembly Day: Eggonauts

April 19 – Five Senses

April 26 – Five Senses Continued

May 3 – Skin

May 10 – Assembly Day: Field Day

May 17 – Human Body Review


Nervous System

Lesson Supplies: Ice cube, brain picture, nervous system picture, worksheet, clay.

Do you know what makes your muscles contract or what helps you feel the difference between hot and cold? Do you know why you can remember what you had for breakfast this morning? Because of your nervous system!

I. Nervous System

A. Divided into 2 main parts

1. Central nervous system

2. Peripheral nervous system

B. Central Nervous System or CNS for short

1. It is called central because it is the most important part.

2. It is made up of only two things.

a. Brain

b. Spinal Cord

3. The Brain

a. When you get information, whether it is about how cold the pool is, how to do long division, or even whether or not you like broccoli, the information is sorted out in your brain.

b. Today we are going to talk about three parts of your brain

i. The largest part of your brain is called the cerebrum (suh ree’ bruhm) It is the pink part in the picture.

- This is where you do all your big thinking like what does 1+1 equal and how do you spell your name.

- This is also where all your conscious actions are controlled. Do you remember when we talked about voluntary muscles- muscles you control just by thinking about it? Well the cerebrum is the boss that tells our muscles what we want them to do. Try it out. Raise your hand, stick out your tongue, take a deep breath. Now pat your head to tell your cerebrum good job!

ii. The second part of your of your brain is the cerebellum (sehr uh bell’ uhm). Cerebellum means little cerebrum. This is the purple part of the picture.

- This part of your brain controls all the muscles movements you need to do all the time just to stay still without falling over. Even though you are sitting still right now lots of your muscles are relaxing and contracting in very small ways to keep you from falling over. If your muscles weren’t working at all you wouldn’t be able to sit up!

- This is done without you even having to think about it!

iii. The last part on our picture is yellow and it is called the brainstem.

- The brainstem connects the brain to the spinal cord so that all the rest of your body can talk to your brain. (So if your finger touches something cold- like this ice cube- your brainstem helps get the message from your spinal cord to your brain so you can think “That’s cold!”)

- The brainstem also helps you do things you need to do to stay alive like breathing. Do you remember the muscle that helps control your breathing? The diaphragm! (die uh fram) Remember we can control our diaphragm- it is a voluntary muscle. Take a deep breath. You just told your cerebrum to override your brain stem. Now that you aren’t thinking about breathing anymore your brainstem is back in control. Cool, huh!

- The brainstem also controls your heartbeat and tells your salivary glands to make saliva.

c. Cerebral Cortex

i. See all the folds on the cerebrum, the pink part of the brain? They are important because folds make more room to store information.

ii. Inside these folds are neurons- these are like tiny telephones. They give information, receive information, and handle information.

iii. Play telephone

- See! You all just acted like neurons.

C. Peripheral Nervous System

1. Peripheral describes the outside part of something. If your mailbox is by the street then when you go to check your mail you are at the peripheral or outside edge of your yard.

2. The peripheral nervous system spreads out from your central nervous system going all the way to the outer edges of your body.

3. Look at this picture. Do you see the Central nervous system- the brain and spinal cord? All those green lines coming out from the CNS are the PNS and they are called nerves.

4. Nerves

a. Remember the neuron game we just played? Nerves are made of up neurons. That means nerves gather and send information! The tricky think about nerves is that they can only send information ONE way. When the brain sends information to your muscles to tell them to move the information FROM your muscles have to come up a whole different telephone line.

D. Make clay brains and do activity sheet.


Adventurer Human Body Class

Posted by Andrea Simmons on January 18, 2016 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Adventurers Spring 2016

Let’s Learn about our Bodies!


Lesson Schedule

January 19 – Bones: Structure and Joints

January 26 – Bones: Anatomy and Healing

February 2 – Muscles

February 9 – Co-op Break

February 16 – Digestion: Mouth and Teeth

February 23 – Digestion: Internal System and Process

March 1 – Lungs and Breathing

March 8 – Assembly Day: Invention Convention

March 15 – Heart and Circulation

March 22 – Co-op Break

March 29 – Brain and nerves

April 5 – Five Senses

April 12- Assembly Day: Eggonauts

April 19 – Five Senses Continued

April 26 – Skin

May 3 – Review/Make-up Day

May 10 – Assembly Day: Field Day

Here are my notes for the first few classes in case you would like to follow up at home. :)

Bones: Structure and Joints

1. What do bones do?

a. Support and give shape

• Flashlight on hand demonstration

b. Protect organs

c. Make blood cells (red bone marrow)

d. Storage (fat and minerals)

e. Movement – joints

2. Names and locations of bones.

a. Introduce skeletal model

b. When you are finished growing you will have 206 bones!

c. Head, shoulders, knees, and toes.

3. Joints

a. Joints are the places where bones meet.

b. Some joints allow a lot of movement, some only allow a little movement, and some don’t allow any movement at all!

c. There is a special fluid in joints called synovial fluid that helps them to move.

d. Friction activity – rub hands together for a minute then add lotion and rub again. Discuss observations.

d. There are different kinds of joints in your body that let you move in different ways.

e. Hinge joints

- Elbows and knees

- Very stable but limited motion

f. Ball-and-socket joints

- Hips and shoulders

- Wide range of motions but aren’t as stable as hinges.

g. Saddle Joints

- Ankle

- Less motion than ball and socket but more than hinge.

h. Plane Joints

- Vertebrae

- Bend and twist back

i. Pivot Joints

- Your skull to your vertebral column

- Shake your head no

j. Sutures

- Cranium

- This is where the bones of the skull are fused. No movement.

4. Activities stations

a. Clay bodies with popsicle stick bones.

b. Frozen joint activities.

Bones: Anatomy and Healing

1. Bone Anatomy

a. Bones have layers.

k. Periosteum

- The outside layer, thin and tough.

- It has nerves that sense pain.

- It also has blood vessels where nutrients are brought into the bone and waste taken out.

- It helps build new bone.

l. Compact Bone

- Thick, hard layer.

- This is what you are looking at if you see bones at a museum, it can last thousands of years.

- Smooth and hard.

- Made of calcium (this is in milk) and tough fibers called collagen.

m. Spongy Bone

- Pores and tunnels that are connected in a pattern that makes the bone strong and resilient (able to bounce back after being pressed).

- Like foam.

n. Inner cavity

- Yellow bone marrow stores things like fat and minerals that your body needs.

- Red bone marrow makes red blood cells.

b. Bone facts

o. There are very few things on Earth stronger than bone!

p. Your bones are being remodeled all the time.

q. You need to eat well, exercise and get some sunshine (vitamin D) to have your bones remodeled well.

2. What happens when a bone breaks?

a. When you break a bone you bleed, just like if you cut yourself. The blood settles and forms a clot (kind of like a scab).

b. Bone building cells called osteoblasts come into the clot and starting making new bone.

c. Over time bone destroying cells (osteoclasts) help shape bone and the osteoblasts build a bone almost like the original.

d. Casts help move the parts of the bone close to each other and keep them from moving around so that your body can repair faster.

3. Activity Station

a. Broken twig x rays

b. Twig casts




1. What do muscles do?

a. Help us move

b. Help us breathe

c. Pump blood

2. Muscle facts

a. There are 640 muscles (remember there are only 206 bones).

b. Your muscles are so strong that if they could all work together to pull in the same direction at the same time they could pull a semi-truck!

c. Muscles make up almost half (40%) of your weight.

• Weigh and record muscle weight

d. Your smallest muscle is inside your ear.

e. Your biggest muscle is the one you sit on, it is called the gluteus maximus (it helps you walk, run, climb, and jump.

f. Your strongest muscle in the masseter, it is the muscle that closes your mouth.

3. Kinds of muscle

a. Skeletal

• Attached to your bones and help you move.

• Muscles are very polite, they never push! Muscles can only pull.

• When muscles pull they tighten up and get shorter and fatter.

• These muscles are voluntary, that means you control them by thinking about what you want them to do.

b. Cardiac

• Cardiac refers to the heart, that is the only place you will find this kind of muscle.

• This muscle is involuntary, you don’t have to think about it to make it work.

• You can hear this muscle contract and relax! Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day.

c. Smooth

• These muscles are found in blood vessels, intestines, and bladder.

• These muscles are involuntary.

• They work like squeezing a toothpaste tube.

4. Activity Stations

a. Skeletal muscle – muscle fatigue and building muscle

b. Cardiac muscle – stethoscopes

c. Smooth muscle – panty hose and clay peristalsis




Digestion – Mouth and Teeth

1. The digestive system is all the parts of your body that takes food in, breaks it up, prepares it for your body to use, and gets rid of the trash.

2. This process is called digestion.

3. Digestion begins as soon as you put something into your mouth.

a. Remember the masseter muscle? It helps you bite, tear, and grind your food.

• This is the mechanical part of digestion, the grinding up and moving along of the food.

b. Teeth help break down food.

• Let’s use mirrors to look at our teeth and see their different shapes.

• Incisors are sharp and are used to bite and cut. Can you point to your incisors?

• Cuspids or canines are also sharp and are used for tearing food. They are pointy, can you point to them?

• Premolars and molars are the flat teeth in the back of your mouth and they are great at grinding.

4. Anatomy of the tooth

a. Enamel- the white coating on the outside of our teeth.

• Extremely hard, white, shiny

• Enamel is not living.

• It is the hardest substance in your body, even harder than compact bone! (remember we said there are few things in the world harder than bone?)

b. Dentin

• Supports the enamel and absorbs shock that could damage your tooth.

• It’s alive! (It contains cells)

c. Pulp

• This is where the nerves (the sensors that help us feel) and blood vessels are found.

• It is sensitive to hot and cold

5. Tooth Facts

a. The crown of the tooth is what you see above your gum.

b. Teeth are attached to your jaw bone by roots.

c. Cavities are holes in your teeth that are formed by germs in your mouth.

d. You get two sets of teeth! One when you are a baby (20) and one when you are an adult(32).

• Look at dental x-rays

e. When a tooth starts to come through your gums it is called eruption!

6. Saliva

a. Chewing begins mechanical digestion but saliva (or spit) begins chemical digestion.

b. 99% water

c. Contains chemicals that help protect teeth and break down food

d. Defends mouth from infection

e. Makes food taste better

7. Tongue

a. Helps move food around and shape it into a ball to be swalled.

b. Guides food to the back of your mouth.

c. Has taste buds!

8. Activity Stations

a. Build a model mouth

b. Chemical digestion with crackers and cheese



Adventurer's Flashlight Project

Posted by Jen Jackson on November 9, 2015 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (1)


Moms of Adventurers: Please help your Adventurer come up with something to bring in that they would like to turn into a flashlight.

Here are the constraints: It needs to be reasonably easy to open with a space inside no smaller than 1 1/2 inches by 3 inches with the mouth of the opening being no narrower than 1 1/2 inches. And it must be something you don't want to preserve. I will be making holes in it. Lastly, it must be made of a non-conductive material.


Some examples:

An old but clean shoe

A plastic bottle or container

A small wooden box

A stuffed animal or puppet (no beans inside)

A plastic truck

A small cardboard box

An old landline cordless phone

A unique creation made of plastic canvas and/or duck tape

Anything else you can think of that fits the constraints


I need them this week so we can make our design plans then I can take them home and prep them for our final class of the semester.


Adventurers Engineering

Posted by Jen Jackson on August 24, 2015 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (11)

Check out the photo album page for pictures of our weekly engineering projects. 

During our first class we learned that engineers are people who use math, science, and creativity to solve problems and began learning simplified steps of the engineering design process. We emphasized that engineering takes many tries and sometimes our ideas don't work.
Then, we got our engineering feet wet by trying to design a poster stand for our engineering process poster; we built and tested models.

Adventurer Curriculum - Fairy Tales

Posted by Andria on August 11, 2015 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (2)

Fairy Tale Curriculum

Memphis Home School Enrichment Cooperative

August - December 2015

12 Classes


Throughout the Fairy Tale course, we will focus on learning parts of a story (the plot, setting and characters), as well as punctuation (question mark, exclamation mark, period). We will enjoy telling stories, acting them out, building, creating, working together and playing.

 **I’m in need of 12 individual shoes (or 6 pair) for one of our activities. If you have any laying around you want to get rid of, will you please give them to me within the next month? They can be any size, preferable children’s.


Day 1: Introductory: Fairy Tales

Learning Points: Makeup of a Fairy Tale (plot, setting, character), Punctuation and Creativity

What is a Fairy Tale?

Short Fairy Tale - Sweet Porridge (plot, character, setting)

Character / Get to know you game


Day 2: Three Billy Goats Gruff

Learning Points: Sequencing, building/creating

Sequencing Explanation

Tell Story (plot, character, setting)

Sequence Activities

Build a Bridge Activity

*If time: Sequencing Game


Day 3: The Gigantic Turnip (Russian)

Learning Points: Collaboration. When we all work together we can accomplish a great deal.

Tell story/Turnip activity (plot, character, setting)

Game about Teamwork

Create service project

Day 4: (continued): The Gigantic Turnip

Read Story

Finish Service Project and hand out to other students 


Day 5: The Three Little Pigs

Learning Points: Comprehension, Acting

a. Tell the story

b. Questions

c. Costumes/Reenact

d. *If Time: Game: pig, pig, wolf


Day 6: Little Red Riding Hood

Learning Points: Following directions, Fractured Fairy Tale

Tell story, (plot, character setting)

Partner game (fractured fairy tales)

Activity, reenact

*If TIme: Mini book


Day 7: Elves and the Shoemaker

Learning Points: Gift of giving without expecting something in return, critical thinking, creating

Elf hat

Tell story; (plot, character, setting)

Question game

Do a good deed for someone else

Day 8 (continued) Elves and the Shoemaker

Read the story

Things to do with your feet

Find the shoe

Decorate the shoe

*If Time: measure feet, hot shoe/hot potato


Day 9 Fractured Fairy Tales

Learning Points: Creating Stories, creative writing and drawing

Read a fractured fairy tale

We tell our own fractured fairy tales

Create own fractured fairy tale


Day 10: DIY Fairy Tale

Become authors of our own fairy tale

Review parts of a fairy tale

We write the story


Day 11 (continued)

Read our own fairy tale

Illustrate our own fairy tale


Day 12: Fairy Tale TIme ??? (this one is still being considered)

dress up as favorite fairy tale character

read different Fairy Tales, sing fairy tale songs, and bring your own treat


**This curriculum is bound to change!