La Tela di Carlotta
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The organs of the body: workshop for kids

Nov 20, 2020

If you share this post or publish photos of the workshop, please don't forget to tag me 🙏🏼

Oliver, Emily and I prepared this workshop for an Italian printed collection about the Montessori method: Gioca e Impara con il Metodo Montessori curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco and published by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport (the collection is only in Italian).

We made a silhouette of Oliver's body (5 years old) and I drew the organs myself, so they are not perfect, but they are certainly made with love: at the end of this post you can download the "1:1 scale" models of all the organs of the body for free.

To so the activity with your children, all you need is a sheet of paper large enough to draw the child's body outline on it; print, cut out and color the organs of the body; arrange them all on the body: we took one organ at the time, named it, understood where it goes in the body and after having "studied" all the organs, we arranged them all together on the body (some obviously have to go over others).

After having arranged them once, we glued them on the paper (this is if you want to be able to lifet up the poster and hang it on the wall): we attached them all with glue, except for the reproductive systems that we attached with adhesive velcro so they can be "interchanged": in fact, these are the only organs that are not the same for everyone (this is interesting to observe even if you don't glue them on the paper) and if you have two children with different reproductive systems, you can represent the body of one and then the body of the other, like we did.

I highly recommend parents to prepare before doing this workshop, because organ disposition is not as straight forward as it might seem and children will ask questions about the function of the organs: try to prepare the shortest explanation possible and offer it only if the kids ask. Here's a general idea of ​​the (approximate) order in which to arrange the organs:

  • Brain
  • Trachea
  • Gallbladder (slightly behind the stomach)
  • Stomach (connected to the trachea)
  • Lungs (connected to the trachea, above the stomach)
  • Kidneys (they connect to the bladder so measure with the bladder)
  • Liver (on the right, slightly above the stomach)
  • Small intestine (connected to the end of the stomach)
  • Large intestine (connected to the small intestine and ending in the anus)
  • Bladder (with the urethra ending in the opening of the legs)
  • Heart (center-left on the lungs)
  • Reproductive system

You can download the black and white model to print and color of the organs in "1:1 scale". If you prefer it already colored, this is the coloured version (patiently hand coloured by yours truly 😉). The size of the organs was perfect for Oliver's body, you might have to squeeze them for a smaller body, but it should work 🤞🏻

Looking at where the organs go.
Emily asking Oliver what reproductive system this person has.

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