We are beginning a unit on Human Anatomy, so we of course started with the smallest, most basic part of our fearfully and wonderfully made bodies: the cell. We began by watching a film about cells, their function and their composition.
We watched the film from United Streaming. A couple years ago, I got a password to United Streaming, but for some reason I did not take the time then to explore what I had right there at my fingertips. In the last couple of weeks, I've heard conversations in various homeschool groups and forums about United Streaming. So I dug my password out of the archives and logged on. I had no idea there was such a wealth of information at my disposal! And for FREE!! In many states, membership to United Streaming through Discovery is quite pricey, but here in Georgia, we have free access to it through Georgia Public Broadcasting. God bless GPB! With hundreds of thousands of films now just a click away, there will be more videos to accompany my lessons. And, since my dear husband hooked up the larger monitor and some pretty def speakers to my laptop, it's not so bad watching a film from the computer! (I almost said "filmstrip" because these types of educational films remind me of the ones we used to watch from a filmstrip during Biology class in the olden days.)
Anyway, after watching our introduction to cells, we discussed the function of each cell part. From there, we dissected an onion, stained a small sliver of it with red dye (did you know that iodine is clear now; they no longer sell the red kind that you're supposed to use to stain science stuff?), and examined it under the microscope. Michael thought it was "cool!", but Alex wasn't impressed.
After drawing out our observations, we set out to make Cell Cookies, which was the primary objective for all of my little scientists in our afternoon of studies. Our cell was composed of peanut butter cookie dough. We used a Hershey's Kiss for the nucleus, a peanut for a mitochondrium, mini-M&Ms for lysosomes, and sprinkles for golgi complexes.