In this project students will focus on the human body, its functions, its design, and the ways in which we care for our mind and body through an inquiry and play-based approach. Through the use of hands on experiences, students will extend upon their prior knowledge and foster their research skills resulting in the co- construction of a human body mural. Students will foster the skills of listening, observing, sketching, asking questions, making predictions and hypotheses, testing, and revising.

Strand(s) and Unit(s):


Self Regulation Frame

Problem Solving and Innovating Frame

Grade 1

Life Systems: Characteristics and Needs of Living Things

Inquiry Focus:

human body, inquiry, play, mindfulness, health living




This project is more of a consolidation and allows students to apply concepts they have learned in science, health and physical education throughout the year. For Grade 1 students they can apply concepts to which they are exposed as part of the Self-Regulation and Problem Solving and Innovation Frame in Kindergarten.


Big Ideas:

Understanding needs of the body and ways for providing care which will allow us to remain healthy and alive.


Overall Expectations:


Self Regulation and Well Being Frame

6. demonstrate an awareness of their own health and wellbeing


Problem Solving and Innovating Frame

13. use the processes and skills of an inquiry stance (i.e., questioning, planning, predicting, observing, and communicating)


Grade 1

2. investigate needs and characteristics of plants and animals, including humans;

3. demonstrate an understanding of the basic needs and characteristics of plants and animals, including humans.


Specific Expectations:



6.1 demonstrate an understanding of the effects of healthy, active living on the mind and body

6.2 investigate the benefits of nutritious foods

6.3 practise and discuss appropriate personal hygiene that promotes personal, family, and community health

13.1 state problems and pose questions in different contexts and for different reasons

13.2 make predictions and observations before and during investigations

13.3 select and use materials to carry out their own explorations

13.4 communicate results and findings from individual and group investigations


Grade 1

-identify major parts of the human body and describe their functions

-identify the location and function of each sense organ

-describe some basic changes in humans as they grow


Key Concepts:

Healthy Living, Self-regulation, Mindfulness, Human Body


Prior Skill Sets:

-See, Think, Wonder protocol

-asking questions

-observing and sketching artifacts

-engaging in a Knowledge Building circle


Prior Knowledge:


  • Human Body vital organs

  • Healthy Living ( e.g. healthy foods versus sometimes foods)

  • Mindfulness

  • 5 Senses

  • Practice drawing self portraits and various shapes


Materials and Equipment:

  • Images of Human Skeleton, or Skeleton Puzzle and Human Body Puzzle

  • Human Body Torso with removable parts (can be purchased on Amazon)

  • Sketchbooks with blank pages

  • Paper, pencils, pencil crayons

  • Books: Non-fiction and fiction about the body and healthy living (suggestions provided)

  • Mural paper

  • Loose parts



There are no safety considerations as students are not working with live material. However, please discuss with them the gentle use of materials when using the anatomy models.


Instructional Planning and Delivery:



Invitation for Learning 1


In this invitation provide students a puzzle of a human body (skeleton) and have them put it together. The teacher facilitates by asking, “What do you think it is?” “What are the different parts you are holding?” “Why do these parts fit together”, “What might these parts do?”

Students are encouraged to draw sketches of the skeleton or create their own using loose parts once it is put together. Provide an 8 by 11 inch piece of white paper and pencil or an inquiry Journal (blank sketch notebook) as well as loose parts. Display sketches of the skeleton or pictures of the students’ loose parts creations near the skeleton puzzle, with quotes and a picture from students as they were working on the puzzle. This will allow other students to revisit the experience.

Teacher Tip:

Prior exposure to X-rays of the body may be helpful and lessen sensitivity for some students.  X-rays can be purchased on Amazon (link embedded in above image).

Additonally, if you do not have a skeleton model, you can use the skeleton cutouts from the following sources:



During a group meeting teach the son Dem Bones by Bob Barner.


Invitation for Learning 2

A puzzle that is double sided and allows students to explore what's on the inside of the body. Similar to the first invitation but this anatomy puzzle considers the major organs. Students are encouraged to sketch and label the organs or create the organs using loose parts.

In small groups (3-4) ask students what they see on the body, what they think about what they see, and what they wonder as a result. Teacher records students’ conversation and ideas to ascertain students’ ideas and hypotheses, and questions they have to plan further lessons.

Display student sketches or pictures of the loose part creations and allow students to share ideas and wonderings in a whole group meeting.


Part 2: KNOWLEDGE BUILDING (Please consult Natural Curiosity Document)

Gather the class in a whole group for a knowledge building circle. Question for Conversation: What are our bodies made of?

Teacher Tip:

Depending on your classroom dynamics, instead of a large group, perhaps it is more effective to have smaller Knowledge Building Circles (half the class, groups of 6 at a time, etc.)

Document the Knowledge Building Script (Tip: Google Docs are an excellent way to document as you can revisit and analyze conversations later, share with other educators and provide student feedback).


Set up an area or centre in your classroom to extend the learning.

Materials: An anatomy model, a skeleton model, stethoscopes, doctor’s kit, x-rays, light table (light source), Inquiry Books (Journals, sketchbooks), pencils.

Observe and Document the Play that students engage in. Are they using appropriate vocabulary? What questions are they asking?

Follow- Up Activity:  What is your hypothesis of the body? (Whole Group)

Have students pick an organ or part of the body which they are curious about. Have them sketch a diagram about this part. Ask them, what they think this part does and why it is an important part of the body. How does it help us?

Display student work so they can revisit throughout this project.

Teacher Tip:

Have multiple sources available, images of the human skeleton, organs, a model. Display the hypotheses so that students can revisit them as they learn more information.

Once you have ascertained the level of knowledge, support this inquiry through read alouds (fiction and nonfiction) and hands on materials.

Some suggestions: (Images from Please click on image for information on the book)



Display the following (suggested) image, either project it or have a large enough print out for the class to see.


Allow students to do a Think-Pair-Share using the I See, I Think, I Wonder protocol

Follow up with a class discussion about what are their ideas and record ideas on chart paper and look for connections to functions of body. (E.g. why do we get sick? How might it affect my senses?)

Human Body Yoga

Google images of human skeleton yoga and a number of images will appear. Choose several you would like to try with the class. Either project the images or print them large enough to display.

As you introduce each pose, examine the way the inside of the skeleton is positioned. This lesson is to illustrate how the insides look as you perform an exercise and how to be safe with your body.

Read Aloud: I am Peace

An excellent story to discuss mindfulness and includes a guided meditation.


Follow Up:

Healthy Living Collaborative Mural: Each student contributes a way to keep the body healthy through pictures or words.


Section 1: Collaborative Human Body Model

CREATE a Life Size Human Body to showcase new learnings of the human body.

Use this book as a reference.


TRACE AND CUT out a student size human body using brown or white mural paper. Hang it at student level. Each student will be responsible for adding a piece to the body. If more than one student is interested in the same part of the body, you can get them to work together.

  1. Pick a part of the body, draw it, cut it out, and attach drawings to where it would go on the body.

  2. Share 3 facts about your chosen part of the body.  Students can write their facts or record it using an Ipad. These recordings can be converted into QR codes. (see following link)


Section  2: The Body Book


Students will be responsible for writing and illustrating their own non-fiction book. Each student will write and illustrate at at least three understandings of the human body and two different ways to keep the body healthy. Provide students with 6 half-pieces of blank white 8x11 paper. Mount title cover on black construction paper and laminate (if possible). Students can staple their finished book. Another possibility is to use the Book Creator  to provide variety and choice in the ways books are produced.



Student Support Resources:  

Provide open ended opportunities to record. Keeping a sketchbook for each student to record observations is a great way of keeping track of their growing knowledge. For independent work, provide blank paper.


Assessment Opportunities:

  • Use SeeSaw, Google Keep, Explain Everything or an app with which you are comfortable to take pictures, voice recordings, and videos of students at work.

  • Students’ work samples will be provided through the sketches, labeling of diagrams and writing they do about the body throughout the project.

  • Use anecdotal observation class charts to record students ideas during whole group discussions.

  • The final project will allow you to assess how students’ understanding of the body has evolved.


Future Opportunities / Extensions:

  • Field Trip to the Science Centre/ Kids Spark and Human Body Exhibit

  • Interviews with Doctors, Nurses and Healthcare professionals (connecting to the community)

  • Consider connection between maintaining a healthy body and maintaining a healthy environment? What do animals and

  • plants (other living things) need to be healthy? How are these interconnected?

  • Consider varying abilities: How might varying abilities impact the way they care for their body and the world around them.