All about me
'All about me!' is a favourite topic for teachers of younger children. There is a richness to this context that allows for potential links to be established to a whole host of curriculum subjects. In terms of science, links to animals including humans are most obvious and it's essential that children experience and learn more about their senses and how they can use these to find out more about the world around them. Children will work scientifically to observe, compare, group and classify, identifying similarities and differences between themselves and their friends, as well as testing their own fitness and materials for a variety of purposes. This list consists of lesson plans, activities and ideas to support the teaching of science through the topic of All about me', providing ideas for how to link science to the topic, tips on using the resources, suggestions for further use and background subject knowledge to support teachers in delivering the science objectives through this topic. Resources support the teaching of animals, including humans and materials.
Visit the primary resources for cross curricular topics webpage to access all resource lists:
Links and Resources
This resource contains a selection of lessons on naming different body parts, recognising similarities and differences between human bodies, and the importance of exercise for humans.
To set the scene and help children become more familiar with the names of body parts, get them to create life size body posters. Children work in pairs, one drawing round another as they lie on a length of paper. They use pencils and marker pens to create an outline, then add part name labels (pre-printed or write their own), of the various body parts. Begin with the simple names of parts, e.g. head, arms, hands, legs, feet and then move on to add more, e.g. neck, elbow, knee, ankle, hip. Encourage children to make comparisons of parts of their bodies, asking questions such as, 'who has the biggest hand?' 'who has the longest leg?' ' are all the body posters the same size?' 'which one is the tallest?' They might also make comparisons of physical details like eye colour and hair colour and record their findings in a simple pictogram.
Produced by Wellcome (and distributed to schools) at the time of the 2012 Olympic Games this is a not to be missed resource. Aimed at Key Stage One, the resource explores activity levels and how, through practise, the body may perform better. Linked to PE and the topic of animals including humans, it also aims to develop enquiry skills.
Meet the character Fizzy and her dog Dizzy, who want to learn more about the human body and set children a series of questions to investigate. Detailed lesson plans include presentations, activities and games, homework ideas and a reward card. Investigations include; Which kind of step is the fastest?, Can I improve my reaction time? and How active am I?
A pair of girl and boy body posters, one with blank labels and the other with completed labels. Again, useful for reinforcing body part names. The labels from the resource might be used for the first activity on this list.
Another example of potential links with PE, this video shows a teacher planning (and delivering) a sequence of activities with a dance expert, linking science and dance. Amongst a number of useful suggestions, the dance expert suggests asking children to 'stick body parts to the floor'; 'sticking' two hands, one foot or a hip and one hand, knee and one elbow, to the floor. Much giggling, as a tangle can result! Children are shown work scientifically as they measure temperatures of different parts of their body, changes to their breathing and heart rate, before and after dancing.
If we are to maintain a healthy body we need to eat well. These simple resources aimed at Early years Foundation Stage can be adapted for use with KS1 children. Children might use the food images, coupled with their own sketches and writing, to create entries for a food diary, describing what they eat over a week or longer. Data taken from the whole class's diaries might be presented simply in a pictogram, table or chart, showing how many times different types of food, e.g. fruit or bread, meat, cheese or chocolate, are eaten each day by children in the class.
Our bodies are affected by our surroundings, the weather and temperature variations. Encourage the children to suggest when they remember last feeling hot or cold. They might relate that to different weather, temperatures, season or months of the year. Or to the heat that comes after running around at playtime or during a PE lesson.
To help maintain our body temperature we need to wear different types of clothing. This resource features a series of posters that show clothing that might be worn during typical weather, each month of the year. Children might in turn draw, paint or create a collage of themselves dressed appropriately for a variety of weather conditions.
Children might work scientifically to investigate how different materials can be used to help maintain body temperature. Provide a selection of gloves made of different materials for children to compare, e.g. from disposable gloves and kitchen gloves, through to woolly mittens or sheepskin gloves. Part cook similarly sized potatoes (baking them in a microwave is the easiest way). Pop one potato (wrapped in shrink wrap) inside each glove and observe how the temperature changes over time. Which 'hand' gets cold first? Does the thickness of the glove make a difference to how long the 'hand' stays warm?
Humans use their senses to help them find out about the world around them. The next three activities explore some of those senses.
This activity requires children to use their sense of smell to identify materials out of a sight, inside 'smell jars'. A variety of foods or herbs of various kinds, can be compared, grouped and ranked in different ways. Carefully selected household products (like soap, polish or wax) might add variety to the smells that children encounter. Children might rank the smells according to whether they like or dislike the smell or come up with a different criteria for their ranking. The activity goes on to suggest children consider the origins of the 'foods' in the given selection.
Fascinating facts: The nose is used to smell smells, but the sense of taste helps with them too. Inside the nose we all have an 'olfactory epithelium', which is made up of over 10 million scent receptors! These receptors can distinguish up to 10000 different smells.
This activity explores the sense of taste. Children taste a variety of unfamiliar foods and use their senses to describe them. Children might work scientifically by grouping and classifying the fruits and vegetables and other foods they sample by taste, i.e. sweet, salty, sour or bitter. They might answer questions about the groupings they make and compare their decisions with other children's. How many different foods did you decide tasted sour? Did everybody agree the types of food that were sour? Did you like that taste? Did other children all dislike/like the taste?
Fascinating facts: The tongue and the roof of the mouth are covered with around 10000 tiny taste buds, which allow us to taste our food, Taste buds recognise four basic kinds of taste; sweet, salty, sour and bitter. The salty/sweet taste buds are located near the front of the tongue, the sour taste buds line the sides of the tongue and the bitter taste buds are found at the very back of the tongue. About 25% of the population are highly sensitive to taste and are known as 'Super tasters'!
This short video shows children investigating what happens when light is excluded from the human eye. A group of children are blindfolded and they are then led into a room where a table of party food has been prepared. Being unable to see, they must use their senses of touch, smell and taste to discover what's on the party menu.
Fascinating facts: While the senses of taste, hearing, smell and sight are located in specific parts of the body, the sense of touch is found all over the body. This is because the sense of touch originates in the bottom layer of skin called the dermis. Tiny nerve endings there send messages to the brain. The most common receptors are heat, cold, pain and pressure or touch receptors.