Thursday, 17 October 2013

The family tree

We've continued to learn about different systems in the human body...I just haven't blogged about it much as of late.  This week, though, we've been working on a special project that we've invited our extended family to help us with.

You see, we're learning about the reproductive system.  And while we've read books like Amazing You!, Changing You!, and Did the Sun Shine Before You Were Born?, added body parts to the alien bodies hanging on our wall, and done some laid-back Q & A, it seemed like a bit of a stretch to find a good, non-invasive hands-on project to reinforce learning. 

So we dove into the world of genetics, dug into our family's history, and started on a quest to discover who we might resemble...where our unique traits came from.  To do this, I selected two traits for us to investigate - eye colour and ear lobes (eye colour because it can be an easier trait to remember and there's less debate about a person's eye colour than hair colour; and ear lobes because they can be easily seen in photographs).  Both these traits also follow a true dominant and recessive pattern, which makes them simpler to work with. 

We created a massive family tree (drawing, painting, colouring and embellishments courtesy of Nicholas).  Jaelyn and I cut out little squares for each person in our family, up to the great-grandparents' generation (lots of measuring going on here, to make sure the squares were the same size).  We asked our parents to do a trade with us...we provide supper and they provide information and photographs to help us uncover the mysteries of who might have influenced our physical characteristics.  We finished half of the family tonight and will finish the rest tomorrow.  After that, our family tree will hang on our wall. 

We were also able to make some predictions.   We expected that a couple who had blue or green eyes would have children with blue or green eyes - there should be no brown-eyed lads or lasses in that match.  As we added information about aunts, uncles, and cousins to our tree, we discovered this hypothesis was true. 

And it was fun to search through photographs - there was a thrill of excitement as we found out something about our relatives and rushed to add it to our tree.  Maybe not as exciting as finding a dinosaur fossil, but still exciting.  And nice to invite our extended family to a place at our homeschool table.

No comments:

Post a Comment