Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Homeschool Science: Comparison of the Human Skeleton to the Chicken Skeleton

Hallelujah, we finally have a complete chicken carcass! Although we eventually had to drive up to Indianapolis to find one, the trip was, of course, a fabulous adventure, since the frozen carcass turned out to be available at our favorite international grocery, Saraga. We therefore came home with many, MANY food items other than that chicken carcass, including (but not limited to) sheet-cake-sized wafer cookies, an energy drink that Matt could bear to take only one sip of, a barley drink that I could bear to take only one sip of, a couple of neon-colored Asian sodas that the girls gulped down happily, many varieties of steamed buns, many more varieties of Ramen, plantains, sweet limes, a very prickly fruit-like thing that draws blood when you touch it, and this fifteen-pound jackfruit:

The preparation of that chicken carcass is a gruesome tale for another day, however; until then, I bring you the story of another portion of this Science Fair project, already happily completed and its presentation rehearsed. I give you, my friends...

The Comparison of the Human Skeleton to the Chicken Skeleton!!!

Even in animals as seemingly different as humans and chickens, many aspects of their skeletal systems are similar. Both humans and chickens, for instance, have many bones that serve the same function, and that therefore have identical names. As part of their research, the kids created a visual aid that illustrates some of these identical bones.

Although a paper diagram would work just as well, for bigger impact the kids first created a plaster of Paris human skeleton from a kit that we own. Will glued the skeleton to some stash mat board, but the whole thing looked so rickety, and plaster of Paris is so brittle, that I sneaked in behind her and glued it better--shh, don't tell!

Using paper diagrams of a human skeleton and a chicken skeleton, then, the kids collaborated in finding the identically-named bones on each skeleton and coloring them the same color:

With my kids, fighting is inevitable, but I was impressed to see that they did eventually manage to come together, divide their labor equitably, and, yes, collaborate! Homeschool kids being socialized to group work: check!

Using the paper human skeleton diagram, the kids then selected matching paint colors from our set of artist's acrylics (I think these have better coverage, and are thus easier for the kids to work with, than craft acrylics) and painted their plaster of Paris human skeleton to match the diagram:

Will cut out the paper chicken skeleton diagram and glued it on, and we called that project done and done!

It turned out great, because it really does illustrate some interesting similarities between humans and chickens. Completely coincidentally, the chicken skeleton diagram is also in very nearly correct proportion to the human skeleton diagram:

The kids have some more research to do and a report to write with me, but my hope is that they and Matt will just make this chicken skeleton re-articulation magically appear by Science Fair day. I can't 100% promise you photos and a discussion of the process, because I only write on subjects that definitely won't make me vomit.

2 comments:

Tina said...

Woohoo! Maybe Matt or one of the girls can write a guest post :0)

I'm interested to find out about that jackfruit.

julie said...

We're going to cut that baby open at dinner tonight! I REALLY hope it's delicious, because there is plenty of it!

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