My Body: The Reproductive System

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During the month of May we're studying our bodies.  Originally I was going to start our month off with the Respiratory System, however, as different events have occurred in our own personal lives (I am NOT pregnant), and Princess has been asking lots of questions, I switched gears and we started our month out with the Reproductive System.

We've only been using our new trays of activities for two days now, but learning time has been AWESOME.  I worked extremely hard to find and create activities that would fit the needs, learning styles, and developing minds of my three children.  As part of the unit we have included material about modesty, good touch and bad touch, and privacy. And since Sunday happens to be Mother's Day, I found it extremely easy to add in some fun holiday themed activities.

This is a very sensitive topic and rightly so.  We have felt much heart ache as foster parents as we've witness the sexual trauma and abuse so many have received.  In every training we've attended, the speaker starts out by saying every 1 in 5 people will be sexually abused in their life time.  Education is our children's only defense at such young ages.

English:
Mommy's Uterus
I really liked these cards when I stumbled across them, just because they were so detailed.  Part of my biological children's birth stories include complications regarding so many of these words.  It excites me to be able to show them exactly what happened with the proper terminology.

Source: I found these free print outs at Little Schoolhouse in the Suburbs.

Mother's Day Beginning Sound Adjective Match Up
I must say my husband deserves the credit for thinking up this activity and doing all the leg work.  He was quite sweet about it too.  All of the adjectives are descriptions of me.
The purpose of the activity for younger kids is to match the word cards with those on the board.  Older kids can identify the first letter of the adjectives, or even the whole word, and match it up with the corresponding letter of the word, "M-O-T-H-E-R."

Source: My husband created this activity.

A Book About My Special Parts
Page 1
Over the course of the past 4 years and even before, we have become very acquainted with what little kiddos need to know about their reproductive system and keeping themselves safe.  Some of this was learned through training, and other information we learned while in the field, trying to keep our own kiddos and foster kiddos safe.  I wrote this book addressing not only what kids need to know to keep themselves safe, but also what kids who have been sexually abused, need to know, about how to treat other people and how to dress.  This was particularly important as one of our adopted daughters has a history of sexual abuse.

The book is specifically designed for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but can be easily modified (a change of a few words) for families who are of other faiths, or for those who don't want to include God in their explanations.  The book shown below is in it's original form for members of the LDS church.

In case the text is difficult to read, I have included it below each picture in the captions.  We have read this book each day this week and will continue to do so.  The kiddos are making their own as well.  My book is specifically for females.
Page 2-Heavenly Father has given me a body to take care of.  He wants me to keep it clean and safe.

Page 3-My body changes as I grow from a baby to a grown up.

Page 4-Heavenly Father has given me very special body parts that allow me to create a baby with my husband or wife, when I am a grown up. If I am a girl these special parts include my breasts and vagina.  If am a boy, I have a penis.

Page 5-These special parts are my private parts. Private means they belong only to me.  It is important to keep my private parts covered.

Page 6-Modest clothing helps me keep my private parts covered, so no one else can see them.

Page 7-I only uncover my private parts when I go potty, take a bath, get dressed, or when I'm at the doctor's office with Mommy and Daddy.

Page 8-When my private parts are covered, I do not touch them. I never touch other people's private parts. If someone wants me to touch their private parts I say, "No!" and then go and always tell Mommy or Daddy right away.

Page 9-It is okay to show people I love them by tickles, high fives, hugs, hand shakes, holding hands, and giving kisses on the cheek. When I am married, it is okay to kiss my husband or wife on the lips.

Page 10-If I need help when taking a bath, putting lotion on, or wiping my bottom after going potty, it is okay for Mommy or Daddy to help me.

Page 11-It is not okay for other people to touch my private parts. If someone tries to touch my private parts, I say, "No!" and leave right away.  I always tell Mommy or Daddy if this happens.

Page 12-When I am married, it is okay that I share my special private parts with only my husband or wife, so we can create a baby together.
Source:  I created this book.

Math:
Sequencing the Development of Baby
It's always fun to see how a baby grows in the uterus. I added the sequencing of numbers from smallest to biggest, to enhance math skills at the same time.
Source: My apologies.  For some reason I neglected to write down the source of these cards.  If anyone does know where they are found, please leave a comment with the information. I did find them on the Internet and they were free.

Science:
The Male & Female Reproductive Systems
This activity has been a HUGE hit!  It was actually the first thing I thought of to really help my kiddos understand their bodies and what I was talking about.
The kids were presented diagrams of both the male and female reproductive systems.  First, they were asked to identify similarities and differences.  Then using color coded beads, we visually moved our way through the functions shown above.  I printed off black and white copies of the charts as controls, color coded with the same colors as the beads, so they would know the routes each functions take.

When working with the male reproductive system I used a yellow bead to represent urine, a blue bead to represent sperm, and a black bead to represent bowels.  We started out by putting the beads in their storage  and/or creation areas and then followed the paths that lead to their exits from the body.

When working with the female reproductive system I used a yellow bead to represent urine, a pink bead to represent an egg, and a black bead to represent bowels.  Again, we started out by putting the beads in their storage and/or creation areas and then followed the paths that lead to their exits from the body.

There were more than one of each color bead so the kids could have fun repeating the activities.  In no way were the kids inappropriate.  In fact, they were very intrigued by it all.  I was even given the opportunity to talk about why it's important to wipe from front to back for girls because the diagram showed how easy it is for items exiting the body to go into the wrong places and cause infections.

Sources:  The diagrams can be found at AllPosters.com.  Click here for Human Female Reproductive System.  Click here for Human Male Reproductive System.

How a Baby is Made
After introducing the diagrams above, I introduced this diagram, physically showing the view change of the female reproductive system.
Again, this has been a favorite activity!  I used pink beads to represent eggs and blue beads to represent sperm.  I showed the route eggs take into the uterus. Then I introduced the concept of sperm entering the uterus.  When they join together, I visually showed how a baby is created, by taking away the two beads and replacing them with a baby.  The kiddos are having so much fun with this. They are asking a lot of questions too, which helps us learn even more information.  We've talked about how the sperm enters the vagina. We've talked about what happens to the egg if a sperm doesn't go into the vagina or doesn't find the egg.  We've talked about how twins are created all the way up to sextuplets.

Source: I found this diagram at AllPosters.com.  I found the cute little baby figures at my local craft store in the baby shower section.
What Do Breasts Do?
There has been quite the curiosity in our home about breasts lately, so I wanted to be sure to include this organ.  Just like the other organs, I am using the same approach.  I have shown the kiddos where milk is created inside the breast and then the paths it can take to come out the nipple.  Since I was unable to nurse 3 out of 4 or my children (health issues and adoption), it has been important to discuss the function of breasts, in that they are used to feed babies.

Source:  My apologies again for not documenting where I found this diagram.  I can definitely tell I put this week's activities together when I was completely exhausted.  I'm not sure if I found this at AllPosters.com or not.  If you know where it came from, please leave a comment with the information.

Geography & Culture:
Mother's Around the World
As part of our Mother's Day Celebration I have created this activity.  The kiddos are to match up the mothers with children displayed in the pictures to the continent they are from.  I wrote the continents on the back of each picture card so I wouldn't forget and also as a control for the kiddos.  My husband and I worked very hard to find pictures of several original inhabitants of each continent in ethnic clothing etc. so the kiddos could see as much diversity as possible.
The conversations during and after this activity have been fabulous.  We've talked about several different skin colors, ways to carry children, and just how different we all look.  I can't wait to see what they come up with tomorrow.

Sources:  The continent cards were part of a different activity I've used several times at Walk Beside Me.  Ic create the other cards.

All Mammals Feed Their Babies Milk
Dinomite is my animal lover. I know if I'm ever trying to teach difficult or important content, the best way to do this is to include an animal activity he can understand.  In an effort to help kiddos understand we're not the only ones who feed our babies milk created by our bodies, and that it's not a weird thing, I created animal cards showing several different animal mothers feeding their babies.  Fortunately for me, Dinomite has a HUGE collection of big and small animals that matched. The kiddos are able to look at the cards and use the animals provided to show the task of an animal mother feeding her baby.  Sure enough it was the first tray Dinomite pulled off the shelves on Monday.
Source:  I created these cards.

Modesty
 In our home, modesty means we wear bottoms that go to our knees, and shirts that cover our shoulders.  We don't permit short shorts or any type of sleeveless top. We also require all kiddos to keep their bellies and backs covered.  This standard is taught as part of our faith, however, as foster parents, we've found this to be a fabulous guideline to follow, especially with those who have been sexually abused.  Girls always wear biking shorts underneath their dresses once out of diapers.  When swimming, girls always were one piece swim suits.  Why so strict?  Without giving too much detail, one would not believe what sexual predators find pleasure in.  We have witnessed too much with our own eyes.

This activity helps the kiddos identify what clothing is modest.  Depending on the standards your family has, you can adjust this activity accordingly.
Source: I created these cards.

Practical Life:
Pouring Milk
I couldn't resist a pouring milk activity as part of this week's trays. It only seemed fitting.  As with all pouring activities, the kids love it!

Mother's Day Necklaces
We used beads a few weeks ago and the kids seemed to enjoy it, so I put different colors back out on the shelf.

Fancy Scissor Cutting
While I was looking for some markers I needed for an activity, I happened to pull out my scrap booking scissors. The kiddos went nuts over them, so I just had to include them on the shelves this week.

Caring for Baby
I would have liked to use a baby doll that appeared more real, but I couldn't find all the proper clothing, so this one worked for the week.  The tray includes a baby with clothes, blanket, bottle, bowl, spoon, mini baby doll, pacifier, teether, and book.  Princess had a lot of fun taking care of the baby today.  Oh, the baby also has a diaper on that just might need changing.

Sensorial:
Salt Glitter Hand Print Cards
I wanted to have the kids make cards for grandmothers for Mother's Day and thought this would be a cute craft activity.

The kids are enjoying it however it does take a significant amount of salt and glitter.  The glitter I have at home seems to sink to the bottom of the bin.  Since little hands enjoy playing in it so much, we tend to be getting more salt on our hand prints than anything.  Still,they're having fun.

Source:  I found this activity at Blog Me Mom.

Play-Doh Beaded Flower & Hearts
 My kids love Play-Doh and all need work improving hand and finger muscles, along with fine motor skills.
Princess' work.
They are having so much fun decorating their Play-Doh hearts and flowers.

Colors from Light to Dark
We haven't worked with our color tablets in a while, so I pulled them out on the shelves again.

Next week we're continuing the study of our body with the Respiratory System!

7 comments:

  1. This was a really cool post! It's nice to see parents going about the reproductive system information using the correct terms and teaching it in a way that is non-shaming. I might have to use this system one day and it's nice to know that it exists. Thanks so much for sharing, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who will appreciate it!

    Stopping by from the Wednesday Walkabout :)

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  2. What a great lesson. So important for kids to know & you did it in such a fun way!
    Thanks for sharing at TGIF!

    Hope to see you linked up again today.
    Beth =)

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  3. I love this! I especially love the Mother's Day adjectives (might be modifying that for Father's Day) and the Special Parts Book. With the threat of abuse out there, I've been wanting a clear way to teach safety to my kids and I think this book nails it. I am also loving all the resources that you're sharing -- you're making it so easy to plan units!!

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    1. I'm so glad I'm able to help you out! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment.

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  4. There is a lot of great information here! Thanks for linking it up at Teach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol Packets!!

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  5. Would it be possible to get a PDF of your "mommies and babies from around the world" activity? I'd like to use them for our own studies of reproduction as well as add them to our continent boxes. Thanks.

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  6. I also liked the look of the mummies and babies around the world. If the PDF is not available there is a free resource from I believe in Montessori on teachers pay teachers, one called Mother and Child Around the World and one called Children Around the World. Thank you Renae for all your hard work. I love your site. Tania

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