Week Sixteen: STEAM Storytime: Our Bodies!

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October 4, 2015 by libraryheather

Program Title: STEAM Storytime: Our Bodies!

Target Age Range: Ages 3-6

Program Length: 60 minutes

Brief Description:
Half-storytime, half-lab in which we explore how our bodies work and how to keep ourselves healthy.

1 package red water beads, hydrated (you will only need to hydrate a couple tablespoons)

2 plastic bins with water in them

6 white ping pong balls

1 small sheet of off-white foam, cut into a bunch of small circles

Large pieces of butcher paper (or other paper that comes on big rolls), approximately child-sized (1 per participant)

Washable markers and/or crayons and/or pencils for tracing

Cut-outs of black & white brain, lungs, heart, and stomach outlines (you can find these through a Google Image search)

Glue sticks

Human Body Felt Board (sooooo worth buying this thing)

2 stethoscopes (we got ours at American Science Surplus for relatively cheap)

Quart-sized Ziploc bags (1 per participant)

1 box Fruit Loops

1 box Cheez-Its (or something orange-y like that)

1 4-pack of shelf-stable vanilla pudding

1 small bottle lemon juice

Plastic spoons (at least two per food item)

Wet wipes

16oz plastic soda bottle, empty and cleaned

2 balloons

1 straw

1 rubber band


Playdough or modeling clay

If doing a powerpoint: computer with projector hookup (no sound needed)

“How Your Body Works” – Rebecca Weber

“Parts” – Tedd Arnold

Cost: $-$$ 0-100, depending on what you already have and whether or not you buy that Human Body Felt Board

Advanced Preparation:
-Hydrate the water beads 24 hours in advance.

-Cut up 1 small sheet of off-white foam into little circles.

-Mix water beads, foam circles, ping pong balls, and water together in two plastic bins.

-Create a fake lung for demonstration.

-Find black and white outlines of a brain, heart, stomach, and lungs. Make enough copies for each participant, cut them out, and separate into piles or baggies.

-Cut child-sized sheets of white paper (1 per participant).

-Set up each lab station.

Program Outline:
1. Welcome and introductions.

2. Song: The More That We Learn Science (to the tune of “The More We Get Together”)

The more that we learn science,
Learn science, learn science,
The more that we learn science,
The happier we’ll be.
We’ll know things, and do things,
And explore many new things,
The more that we learn science,
The happier we’ll be.

3. Brainstorm: What do our bodies do for us? Let’s all take a big deep breath together. What’s helping us breathe? Our lungs! Can we say thank you to our lungs? Thank you, lungs! What if we try jumping up and down? What’s helping us jump up and down? Our muscles and bones! Thank you muscles and bones! Put your hand right here on your chest–can you feel your heart beating faster? Our heart moves blood all around our body.  Thank you, heart!  Quick–shout out your favorite pizza topping! What made you think of your favorite pizza topping? Your brain! Thank you, brain! Where does all the delicious pizza that we eat go? In our stomach! Our stomach helps digest our food and get nutrients! Thank you, stomach!

4. Action Rhyme: Hands on Shoulders (from Preschool Express)

Hands on shoulders, hands on knees.
Hands behind you, if you please.
Touch your hips, now your nose,
Now your hair and now your toes.
Hands up high, in the air,
Then pull them down and touch your hair.
Clap your hands, one, two three,
Then hands at your sides, like a giant tree.

Do this rhyme twice, having the kids do the motions along with you both times.

5. Book: “How Your Body Works” – Rebecca Webersteam storytime bodies 1

6. Flannel/Song: “Human Body B-I-N-G-O” –please see the lyrics on Making Learning Fun.
(We used the Human Body Felt Board, introducing him as our friend Bob. We put out the brain, heart, lungs, and stomach on the board and asked them which they thought was the brain/heart/lungs/stomach before placing it on Bob and singing that verse of the song.)

7. Action Rhyme: I’m Your Heart (from Read Virginia)

I am your heart and I go beat, beat, beat. (clap hands)
I pump your blood while you are asleep, (pretend sleeping)
I pump your blood when you jump up and down, (jump up and down)
I pump your blood when you run around, (run in place
I pump blood when you move your feet, (march in place)
I pump blood as you tiptoe to your seat! (tiptoe in place)

8. Book: “Parts” – Tedd Arnold

9. Brainstorm: How can we keep our bodies healthy?

10. Action Rhyme/Song: If You’re Healthy and You Know It (adapted from Whatcom County Library System)

If you’re healthy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you’re healthy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you’re healthy and you know it,
then your face will surely show it,
If you’re healthy and you know it, clap your hands.

Follow with these verses:
…run in place*
…dance around*
…shout hooray (pump arms in air)

*If someone cannot use their legs, you can instruct the room to pump their arms like they’re running instead. ‘Dancing around’ can be done seated with just arm and upper body movements, as well.

11. Demonstration: Fake Lung
Preface by asking if they’re breathing a little harder after moving around to the last song. Then, demonstrate how our lungs work by using the lung model, making sure to point out the anatomical features at work.

12. Song/Action Rhyme: Brain, Stomach, Lungs, and Heart (adapted from Library Bonanza)

Brain, stomach, lungs and heart,
(Lungs and heart!)
Brain, stomach, lungs and heart,
(Lungs and heart!)
Think and eat and breathe and beat,
Brain, stomach lungs and heart,
(Lungs and heart!).

Point to your head, stomach, lungs, and heart as you say their names each time, as well as while saying think, eat, breathe, and beat.

13. Lab Time (see Special Instructions and Procedures below)

Handouts: None

Special Instructions and Procedures:
For the 30 minutes of Lab Time, we had four stations set up:

Blood Components Sensory Station:
This was the second time we used this fantastic idea from I Can Teach My Child. We simply put out a sign explaining that this was supposed to represent the components of blood, if the components were HUGE instead of teeny tiny. The sign also said which items in the bins were which components of blood, and the basic purpose of each blood component.

Body Tracing:
Each child gets a large piece of paper. They lay down on the piece of paper, and their parent uses a pencil, crayon, or washable marker to trace around their body. Then, they take the paper brain, heart, lungs, and stomach that you printed and cut out, color them if they wish, and glue them in the appropriate part of their traced body. Of course, they can also decorate their tracing however they’d like!

Heart Beat Station:steam storytime bodies 3
Originally, we were going to make stethoscope crafts, but decided it was too complicated since we had real stethoscopes on hand. We just put out stethoscopes on a table with a sign instructing them to listen to their heartbeat, do jumping jacks, and then listen again.

This great idea was featured on both the ALSC Blog by Amy Koester, as well as Abby the Librarian, and Library Bonanza. That’s how you know it’s great. We laid out all the parts on a table with a sign that instructed them to put it all together and mush it up, and told them that it’s kind of what it looks like inside their stomachs. Kids enjoyed it, parents were grossed out!

steam storytime bodies 2

We also meant to have our flannel board with the Human Body Felt Board near the Body Tracing station, but that didn’t happen–it just stayed near the front of the room. So, it kind of became its own station. Kids were way into putting all the organs and bones onto the body, and they seemed amazed and vaguely overwhelmed that there is so much stuff packed into our bodies!

Resources Used:
Science Sparks: Make a Fake Lung
Preschool Express: Body Part Songs & Rhymes
Making Learning Fun: My Body Felt Board and B-I-N-G-O
Read Virginia: My Heart is Like a Zoo
Library Bonanza: Curious Kitties: My Body’s a Pretty Cool Thing
I Can Teach My Child: What is Blood Made Of?
ALSC Blog: Body Science for Preschoolers
Abby the Librarian: Preschool Lab: My Body
Human Body Felt Board

Additional Resources:

Preschool Education: Music & Songs: My Body

What we would do differently:
This worked very well as-is.

Adaptation for older/younger audience:

Would not recommend for an even younger audience. We have done a program for 1st-3rd graders on the cardiovascular system, which has similar elements to this program.

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