Saturday, October 23

Frankenstein & Human Anatomy

Frankenstein's monster is a collection of anatomical parts arranged to create a new being.  Dr. Frankenstein had to know quite a bit about human anatomy to make it work!

Anatomical shape is determined by the strong skeleton surrounded by muscle, organs, and fat.  The spine contains flexible vertebrae which hold the body erect, and the spinal cord is a collection of nerve fibers that connect the brain to the body.  The spinal cord is the information highway that carries the messages which tell every body part - both voluntary and involuntary - what to do.  If you're interested in neurology, the movie Inside-Out does an amazing job of explaining how it works!

Blood vessels carry oxygen to body tissues in blood through veins and arteries; it moves because of the beating of the heart.  Blood is carried away from the heart through arteries, full of oxygenized blood, and back to the heart through veins, ready to pass through the lungs again.  The heart has the largest artery, the aorta.  Once the blood leaves here, it moves through progressively smaller arteries, arterioles, and capillaries until it reaches organ tissue.

The body is divided into systems of organization.  From largest to smallest, these are:
  • Organ system - a group of organs that work together for a function (eg, nervous system)
  • Organ - a group of tissues arranged to perform a specific function (eg, brain)
  • Tissue - a group of cells with similar structure and function
  • There are only four types of tissues: epitheilial, connective, muscle, and nerve.
  • Cell - the smallest living unit in the body (eg, neuron)
  • Chemical - atoms or molecules that are the building blocks of matter and help the cell to function (eg, oxygen, protein)
Anatomy is a subject that could fill an entire year of science...this is such an in-depth topic!  We are only brushing the surface here.  You can find more information at this unit study or from this online class.

The human body consists of eleven organ systems, each of which contains several specific organs. An organ is a unique anatomic structure consisting of groups of tissues that work in concert to perform specific functions. The eleven systems are the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Only the reproductive system varies significantly between males and females.

Our spine read for this unit is:

  • Frankenstein
    • Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense.  Considering the novel's enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim of Lord Byron's. "We will each write a story," Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron's proposal.  The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, "would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror -- one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart."

Get the ENTIRE UNIT in Twenty-Three Reads Bundle - for someone who wants a little bit of everything! 

It includes twenty-three unit studies covering a wide range of topics. Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand. These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.
  • Language Arts
    • Finding Langston & the Poetry of Langston Hughes
  • Geography
    • Anne of Green Gables & Canadian Provinces
    • Stowaway & Antarctica
    • Julie of the Wolves & Alaska
    • Blades of Freedom & the Louisiana Purchase
    • The Avion My Uncle Flew & France
  • History
    • Zlata’s Diary & the Slavic Wars
    • Freedom Summer & the Summer of 1964
    • Treasure Island & Pirates of the Caribbean Sea
    • Farenheit 451 & Types of Government
    • Red Stars & Russia in World War 2
    • The Great Gatsby & the Roaring Twenties
    • The Long List of Impossible Things & Post-War Germany
    • A Tale of Two Cities & French Revolution
    • Witch of Blackbird Pond & Salem Witch Trials
    • The World Made New & Early Explorers
    • Stitching a Life & Jewish Immigration
  • Life Skills
    • Teetoncey & Lifesaving Skills
    • Freak of the Week & Disabilities Awareness
    • Island of the Blue Dolphins & Sailing
  • Science
    • The Science of Breakable Things & the Scientific Method
    • Frankenstein & Human Anatomy
    • Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation & Albert Einstein

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