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Unit Topic: Body Systems Inquiry

Big Ideas


Unit Rationale

Grade: 8

Author: Michael Burge

Knowledge of how the systems of the body work and work together can connect to a
persons health and wellness.
Connecting students understanding of the body to how it is valuable to their future. There
are so many aspects of life, either personal, professional or past times, that are influenced
by your knowledge of the human body.
How is the integration of the body systems integral to our health and wellness? What are
real world examples of body systems working together for health or being connected
through illness?
In what ways do our choices influence how our body systems work and how healthy they
Why might it be important for you to know about how your body systems work?
How does our understanding of our body influence our interactions with the world and the
people around us?
Knowledge of ones own being is a fundamental concept. How can we understand
anything around us if we do not understand the very functioning of the body we are in? As
a result, studying the systems of the body and how they interact to keep us healthy is
extremely important. As the BC Science IRP states, it is important for students to develop
scientific understandings and attitudes that will be relevant in their everyday lives and
their future career. (pg. 11) Once again, what could be more relevant to our everyday
lives and future careers than understanding our own bodies? In addition, there is a vast
amount of research from the past few years on the declining health of our Canadian
population. We are less active and less fit than ever. We are failing to connect our
knowledge to our actions. We know how poorly we are living and yet we do not change our
living. One of the goals of this unit is to encourage students to connect how their body
works to how they live their life. Hopefully, a better understanding of their body systems
can lead to a better understanding of the effects of their life choices.

Unit Goals
Students will be
able to:

Unit Prescribed
Outcomes This
unit will satisfy
the following

Identify the individual functioning and processes of the systems of the body
Demonstrate verbally or visually how the systems of the body work together to
maintain a healthy body
- Provide examples of how healthy life style decisions influence the proper functioning
of the body
- Provide examples of how knowledge of the body is valuable to life beyond the
classroom does it connect to a future career, a hobby or sport, your personal
health or perhaps a medical issue in your family?
- Investigate the inquiry process and identify a few basic strategies of asking
questions, setting goals and developing dialogue on a deeper level.
A3 represent and interpret information in graphic form
A4 use models to explain how systems operate
A6 demonstrate ethical, responsible, cooperative behaviour
B3 explain the relationship between cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems
B4 explain the functioning of the immune system, and the roles of the primary, secondary,
and tertiary defence systems
Language Arts
A1 interact and collaborate in pairs and groups to
support the learning of self and others
explore experiences, ideas, and information
understand the perspectives of others
comprehend and respond to a variety of texts create a variety of texts
B7 after reading and viewing, select and use a range of strategies to extend and
confirm meaning, including
responding to text
asking questions
reviewing text and purpose for reading
making inferences and drawing conclusions
summarizing, synthesizing, and applying ideas
C2 write purposeful information texts that express ideas and information to
explore and respond
record and describe
analyse and explain




Healthy Living
- set personal goals for attaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- analyse influences on eating habits, including family, peers, and media
- identify factors that influence healthy sexual decision making
- demonstrate an understanding of the consequences of contracting sexually
transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS (e.g., symptoms, short-term and long-term
health issues
Substance Misuse Prevention
- Goal setting, group timeline and responsibilities sheet
- Exit slips throughout the process, check in on what has been completed, what they
are doing to find info on their question
- Personal KWL and wonder wall continued additions
- Inquiry Project and Presentation
The students in the two classes I will be using this are all capable of working on their own.
They are experienced in having projects to complete and working in class time to
accomplish them. For the most part the projects are teacher directed. I have not seen a
lot of inquiry work in the classes. The projects are usually based around a topic or activity
chosen by the teacher. I am confident that they are a capable group of students, but I am
preparing to introduce inquiry to them and so I expect to have to walk them through it
somewhat. There are seven students with designations in each class. The first class has
few issues regarding their ability to work. The second class has some students that have
difficulty staying on task and will need some help managing their time.
The inquiry project is going to follow a unit on the body systems. I am going to begin the
body systems unit with an individual KWL and then develop and wonder wall to encourage
to students to think about questions throughout the unit. During the body systems unit,
we are going to do an overview of each system, but encourage each student to consider if
there is something about one of the systems that they are really interested in. I am still
deciding whether or not the students will work in small groups of 2 or 3 or on their own. I

hope to spark their interest by talking about issues related to each body system and
having some examples of real life connections, including a guest speaker, the strength and
conditioning coach for Rugby Canada.

Body Systems Inquiry Project

Following the overviews of each body system, you will be responsible to research
and report on one big question pertaining to one of the body systems. You are not
limited to those discussed in class (Respiratory, Digestive, Circulatory, Excretory or
Immune). You may explore other body systems such as the Nervous System.
You must present one Big Question relating your body system to a larger real
world issue. For example, How does pollution contribute to asthma and what are
ways that we could reduce the effect? or How do the systems of the body work
together to maximize performance for an athlete and how can we influence this

Your project must be visually presentable and appealing for the class to see (ie
poster project, power point, i-movie, etc).
You must include any information required to understand your question. This will
likely include:

A discussion of what your question is, why it was interesting to you and why it
is important. (1 Paragraph)

The importance of your body system within the human body and how it is
linked to at least one other body system (min. 3 paragraphs)

A discussion on issues surrounding your question including possible ideas or

solutions you have found in your research or come up with in the process.
Also include how this has effected how you think and potentially how you act.
(min. 3 paragraphs)

A brief overview of the process involved in completing this project including

what strategies and skills you used to answer your question. How did you go
about finding the answer? How did you choose what to do? (1 paragraph)

Identify all the major organs/components of your body system

A labelled diagram of your entire body system (i.e., Circulatory System)

A detailed diagram of at least 2 organs in your body system (i.e., Liver &

You must include a minimum of 5 references.

You will be presenting this project in front of the class and therefore it should
be visually appealing and easy to follow.

Assessment tools

Marking Criteria:

4- Has shown and demonstrated an excellent understanding of their body system. Clearly and
effectively identified all components of the body system. Has included all diagrams which are detailed,
clear and organized. Has included a thorough and clear explanation of how the body system is
important to human survival. Has also linked the body system to another system and clearly and
effectively explained why. The project was clearly presented and well organized. All other components
of the assignment were fully completed and of exceptional quality.

3- Has shown and demonstrated a good understanding of their body system. Clearly and effectively
identified all components of the body system. Has included all diagrams which are well organized
Has included an explanation of how the body system is important to human survival. Has also linked
the body system to another system and explained why. The project was clearly presented and well
organized. All other components of the assignment were fully completed and of good quality.

2- Has shown and demonstrated a satisfactory understanding of their body system. Clearly and
effectively identified most of the components of the body system. Has included most diagrams; some
may be omitted or unclear. Has included a basic explanation of how the body system is important to
human survival. Has also linked the body system to another system and explained why. The project
was presented in a satisfactory fashion; sometimes it was difficult to follow. Overall the remaining
components of the assignments demonstrated a satisfactory understanding.

1- Has not met the criteria for the body systems project. Assignment is either inaccurate, missing
major components or incomplete. Project was difficult to understand and very unclear in both content
and presentation.

1) People
a. Andrew Evans
i. Certified Exercise Physiologist, CSEP
ii. Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, NSCA
iii. Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Mens Program Rugby
iv. Andy will be a guest speaker who will come and talk about how
important it is to understand your body to have it function
properly as well as some potential career paths if student really
want to pursue this topic.
b. Michael Collins
i. Celebrate Recovery Coordinator
ii. Works with a lot of people working through issues related to
ways they have mistreated their body.
iii. Michael will be a guest speaker who will dsicuss how our choices
effect our body. Often our body reaps the rewards or
punishments of the decisions we make.
2) Books
a. Coster-Longman, C. (2001.) The Human Body. Scholastic Canada LTD.
i. Great overview of the body systems.
ii. Fold open pages with fantastic diagrams and sidebars with good
breakdowns on the tissue level
iii. Use this for diagrams and basic understanding and anatomy of
b. Body Works Book Series
i. Fromer, L. & Gerstein MD, Dr. F. (2011) My Achy Body. Toronto
Ont.: Tundra
ii. My Healthy Body
iii. My Messy Body
iv. My Noisy Body
v. My Stretchy Body
1. This series is for a younger age group
2. Even for older students has some fantastic triva and hints
that may lead them toward inquiry questions
3. Great to use to get them intriqued and thinking, especially
students who might be having trouble finding a question.
c. LeDrew, B. (2006). BC Science Probe 8. Toronto Ont.: Thomson Nelson
i. Good overview of systems
ii. Good starting point for basic info.
d. Levchuck, C., Drohan, M., & Koseck, J. (2000). Healthy Living (Vol. 1).
Gale Group.
i. More in depth discussion on issues and choices effecting the
ii. More complex writing and a higher level, but not above grade 8.

iii. This would be good for students who have a question and need
some more info on how it connects to how we live.
e. Macnair, Dr. P., (2005). Building Blocks: Cells, organs, and body
systems. Boston: Kingfisher
i. Nice and simple diagrams and information
ii. A great starting point for each body system.
iii. Very simple writing.
f. McMillan, Beverly. (2006) Human body: A visual guide. Reader's Digest
i. Fantastic Book!
ii. Excellent diagrams and pictures
iii. A really great level of writing for grade 8
iv. Information on all the systems as well as all kinds of issues, concerns, and topics
surrounding them.

g. Parker, S. (1993). Eyewitness Science - Human Body. Stoddart

Publishing Co.
i. Good book for diagrams
ii. Lots of short, informative chunks of information
iii. Great connections to history
h. Tortora and Grabowski. (2003). Principles of anatomy and physiology. John Wiley &


University level text book

Fantastic amount of information on all the body systems and how they work.

May be above some students ability level.

For some students this is an excellent resource to figure out
functioning and get deeper into the body system they have

3) Online
i. Great website with a kids, teens and parents section
ii. Great possible question guiding links topics include drug
awareness, food and fitness, body, minds, diseases
iii. Videos, articles, activities, links
i. website with overviews and interactive diagrams of the body
ii. also includes anatomy related careers
c. The Franklin Institute -
i. Information, diagrams and pictures of the heart
d. How Stuff Works
i. Specifically -
ii. Quizzes, info on body systems and body parts
iii. Diseases and conditions
iv. Medicine and mental health
v. Include interesting topics section What makes your knuckles
pop, How does the spine form.
i. Includes all kinds of videos, pics and articles about how the body
works and issues related to health

ii. Animations on how the body works and disorders that affect it.
i. Online interactive body
ii. Requires plugin
i. Link to top 10 body websites
ii. Has some good links to other sights that could be used as
iii. This page has links to resources for a number of different ages.
4) Podcast