From Head To Toe
AIMS Education Foundation has a strong commitment to hands on science and mathematics education. AIMS stands for Activities Integrating Math and Science.
AIMS is a non-profit company and their educational products are used by both public school and homeschool educators.
Literature Link Activities
You can read about their commitment to homeschoolers here. They meet state specific standards for public schools in Ohio, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia. You can view the standards alignment here.
There website has a lot of free samples for you to try and help you get started with science and math activities. There are two ways to see free samples. Click here to view some free sample activities per grade level. To view the free samples in each product, click on a product you are interested in and then click on the sample /review link.
Here is a video explaining how to do an AIMS activity.
From Head To Toe
We were given the opportunity to review From Head To Toe. This is a science activity book about the human body and is designed for grades 5-9. However, we used it for grades 5, 3, 1, preK, and tot school too. It is very adaptable and kids of all ages will enjoy the science experiments and activities.
The book is large and contains 269 pages. It also comes with a CD for making printables, or you can copy them from the book too. It retails for $24.95 from the AIMS website.
It contains 27 activities. The table of contents is divided into eight chapters:
Musculoskeletal System Sensory Organs
The book is laid out really nicely. In each chapter, there are rubber band books to make and read, models and experiments to conduct, coloring pages and worksheets to do, in addition to more pages on the CD.
Students make a rubber band book that explains the specific body system they are learning about. The rubber band book is made by printing off pages from the CD or copying the page from the book and then folding it and securing it with a rubber band. It is written with humor and is comic book style and keeps the kids interests. The students can color the pages of the rubber band book to enhance it too.
So far we have learned about the human heart from the circulatory system , and completed the whole chapter on the urinary system.
One challenge I found with using the book is that the experiments require a few materials that I did not have on hand. For example: I need to collect a few more materials for some of the activities to complete the chapter on the circulatory system, including an experiment creating a pumping heart model. I had everything on hand except a tube connector that joins the openings of two bottles and forceps.
materials needed for the heart model:
two 20 ounce plastic bottles
metal washer, 1/4 inch
two flexible plastic drinking straws
nail with a sharp point
5 minute epoxy or glue gun
Lesson learned, I need to plan ahead and gather all of my needed materials before I start a chapter. It was my fault for not being prepared. I found this situation true with all the chapters, where I had all but one or two items needed to conduct the experiment.
You can view the first 37 pages of From Head To Toe here, and make several rubber band books on the nervous system and circulatory system, color the activity pages, and do the heart model activity. Your kids will have a lot of fun with this so please give it a try. Its free!
Here are some of the fun pictures we took as we learned about the Urinary System:
In the activity called "Take Me To The Cleaners", the kids learned about the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. They learned how the kidneys filter impurities from the blood that has returned from feeding oxygen to the cells of the body. Before the blood returns to the heart and lungs, it is filtered by nephrons in the kidneys. They remove the waste particles and mix it with water, and it becomes urine. Then they send the urine to the ureters which takes it to the bladder to be stored until the body is ready to urinate, or pee. The bladder has receptors that tell it when it is full and it is time to pee. The urine leaves the bladder and exits the body through the urethra.
To understand the basics of how the kidneys work:
materials we used:
two clear jars (you can use any clear cups or jars)
carrot juice (you can use any vegetable juice)
Number the jars 1 and 2. Place the filter and rubber band over the opening of the second jar leaving a small indention in the filter to hold liquid.
Place two ounces of carrot juice into the first jar.
Slowly pour 1 ounce of the juice into the filter covering the second jar.
You may have to wait a while for it to filter. Go slowly and don't rush it.
Observe what is happening.
The juice in the second filtered jar is clearer than the juice in the first un-filtered jar.
The filter collected lots of particles of carrot and removed it from the juice. The remaining filtered juice had no large carrot particles left in it.
This demonstrates how the kidneys filter out impurities from the blood for removal, and return clean blood to circulate in the body.
The next activity demonstrates how the bladder knows when it is full of urine (waste particles and water) and ready to empty (urinate or pee). A balloon represents the bladder, and tape represents receptors on the bladder. Place clear tape in a cross or x on two places, making two crosses or x's on the balloon. Gently blow a small amount of air into the balloon. Observe what happens to the balloon and tape.
Blow again adding a little more air. Observe again.
Blow more air in to reach its maximum.
Ok, thinking that this balloon represented her bladder full of pee, she was a little reluctant to touch it.
Now release the air as if the bladder has emptied its contents. Now the tape (receptors) recognize there is nothing in there.
I was very pleased with the book From Head To Toe. It has a lot of substance. There is a lot of fun activities for kids to do, plus coloring pages and worksheets too. It does require a little planning to be sure you have all the materials on hand to conduct the experiments and build the models.
This book is hands on, our favorite way to learn. I am planning to turn our projects and rubber band books from this activity book into a wonderful notebook/lapbook as part of our Human Body Unit Study.
If you would like to know what others on the TOS Homeschool Crew thought of this product, please read here.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the product mentioned above for the purpose of writing an honest review.
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