Welcome to our homeschool biology lesson about cells! Being a nurse by profession, I have been eagerly awaiting our study of biology. This Apologia Anatomy and Physiology book is one that we will languish in, take our time over and, I’m sure, thoroughly enjoy! (I mean, who doesn’t like learning about themselves?). We treated ourselves this time and bought the note-book to go with our studies. The
Apologia Anatomy and Physiology Text Book
The first thing we did was read the chapter aloud. I did this over two or three sessions. I had the children narrate back to me what I had read. This is helpful first in ensuring that they listen and secondly making sure they heard and understood. At the end of each read aloud session I had them watch an episode of Newton’s workshop:
These were so worth the money we paid for them. They are a little old fashioned but are Christian in content and so very clear, helping the children understand sometimes complex subjects. And they were perfect for our little homeschool biology lesson on cells! Lillie, 9, after watching the DNA one, wanted to write an essay on genetics; she was so excited to understand why our family had different coloured hair and eye colour.
At the end of the chapter we went through the narration questions again, for revision. In each chapter there are ‘Try This!’ ideas, all of which we attempted. There are many things included in the notebook: we do love the lap book pieces, and their succinctness is perfect for science.
More Hands on than Writing
We do A LOT of writing for our history studies. For science, understanding and application is more important. So I tend to go overboard with hands on activities, reinforcing their knowledge and understanding that way, and go underboard with writing activities!
Homeschool Biology: Making a Human Cell Model
- An Edible Cell
For our reinforcement activities, we started by making our own edible cell. Now let me tell you, anything remotely edible is a huge hit in this household!
- A Plastercene Cell
Next up we decided to make a model of our cell city using different coloured play dough( I can’t believe I’m 38 and get to have so much fun!!):
And with labels:
- Egg Model of a Cell
An egg is a simple version of a single cell with the yoke as the nucleus. We soaked two eggs in vinegar over 24 hrs, rinsed them and re-soaked for another 24 hrs and re-rinsed. Apologies for the photos, I really need to take a course in photography!
This dissolved the solid egg shell, leaving behind the cell membrane, enclosed around the ‘cytoplasm’ (egg white) and the ‘nucleus’ (yolk). We talked about the membrane being semi permeable, letting only certain substances through the pores. We then placed one egg in pure water and the other in heavily salted water and hypothesised about the results.
Colouring a Human Cell
We also did a bit of colouring in using this book:
And here are the finished sheets:
Looking at Cell Organelles Under a Microscope
To finish up our homeschool biology study on cells, I gave the children some cell organelle slides. We had a screened microscope that we were blessed to find at a charity shop, so we used that to look at the slides:
Consolidating their Cell Knowledge
I always, no matter what we study, beg steal or borrow (actually usually I just buy off Amazon!) lots of books to read for reinforcement. I think reading around a subject puts it in context of the bigger picture.
And just for a bit of fun and a taster of things to come I let them have a play with this set:
The Story of Science DVD
The very last thing we did was watch the bonus episode on the cell on my son’s ‘The Story of Science’ DVD:
This was a great homeschool biology lesson all about cells! We’re learning about bones next!