Thursday, June 9, 2011
Learning the Bones of the Hand - With Cookies
Studying the human skeletal system seemed like an easy jump from our dinosaur study, and playing with cookie dough is even more fun on a rainy morning than playdough, so we passed another gray mourning, making cookies, and learning about the 27 bones in the hand.
We have a Klutz model of the hand, and a picture of a hand x-ray, left over from one of our Young Scientist Club kits, but there are so many good, labeled diagrams of the bones of the hand online, neither was really necessary. We decided to copy a diagram from Encyclopedia Britannica, and use different colors for each section of the hand (click here, for our sugar cookie dough recipe).
We used eight, small balls of white dough, for the carpals of each hand. We didn't try too hard to get them exact, but made sure we had eight of them. If you're interested in knowing more detail about the carpals, I suggest checking out LearnBones.com.
We pushed the balls together, to form the bottom of the hands (I was working upside down, because that was how the diagram was, but the children worked right side up one theirs).
Then came pink metacarpals...
...yellow proximal phalanges...
...purple middle phalanges...
...and blue distal phalanges.
A (age 10) opted to make hers all with white dough, because she does not care for the taste of food coloring.
The younger girls though, had a good time arranging the bones according to color. I had originally planned on making the cookies alone, as a snack for the children, to go along with Scholastic's The Magic School Bus, The Search for the Missing Bones, at story time. But, the younger girls absolutely insisted they wanted to make their own hands. I was surprised at how alert to detail they were, as they pieced the dough together.
Naturally, once the younger girls had made theirs, everyone else had to make their own, as well. No one wanted to be outdone by a four year old. I was glad too, because it turned into a really great learning activity for all of them - much more, than just a theme-snack would have been.
It's great to be a homeschooler.