Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 24 - Cells


Recognize that all parts of the human body are made up of cells.


Microscope or a picture of a microscope

Teacher Resources

Bender, Lionel. Through the Microscope: The Body. New York: Aladdin, 1989.

Newson, Lesley. All About People: How we grow, how our bodies work, and how we feel. New York: Scholastic, 1995.

Rowan, Pete. Some Body! New York: Knopf, 1995. (Pictures of cells from different parts of the body on pp. 6-7.)

Sandeman, Anna. Skin, Teeth, & Hair. Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 1996.


Tell the children that even though we can't see them, all parts of the human body are made of tiny living pieces called cells. Say: Cells are so small that you can only see them with a powerful instrument called a microscope. Ask: Has anyone ever seen or used a magnifying glass? What does a magnifying glass do? A microscope is similar to a magnifying glass because it is a machine that is used to make it possible to see something that is very, very small; it makes small things look larger. Show the children an actual microscope or a picture of a microscope. A scientist named Anton von Leeuwenhoek developed the microscope. Tell the children that Mr. von Leeuwenhoek (Lay-van-hook) didn't work as a scientist for a living. Say: He was a cloth merchant and made his first microscope to help him inspect the cloth he was buying and selling. He also became interested in the way food moved within the body and eventually became the first person to correctly describe red blood cells.

Explain to the children that their bodies are made of millions of cells. Say: Cells come in all different shapes and sizes. Cells from one part of your body may look very different than cells from another part of your body because different cells perform different jobs. For instance, cells from your muscles are long and thin and help you move; cells from your nerves are very long and wire-like to carry messages around the body; cells from inside your nose have tiny hairs on them that act as filters to keep dust from getting to your lungs. Draw and label different shaped cells on the board (examples below).


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 24 - Cells

Say: As you grow, your body keeps making more and more cells. Even after you stop growing your body continues to make or produce cells to replace cells that wear out and die. For

instance on the outside of the body, skin peels or flakes off when it gets dry because of the weather or the sun. On the inside of the body, cells in your intestines wear away as food is digested and passes through your body, so your body makes new cells to replace the ones that are lost.

Tell the children that cells are joined together to make body tissues, body tissues make up organs, and organ works in systems. For example cells make up heart tissue, heart tissue makes up the heart organ, and the heart organ is part of the circulatory system.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 25 - The Digestive System


Understand the functions of the body parts associated with the digestive system.


One of the books mentioned in the lesson

Teacher Resources

De Weese, Robert. What's Inside Your Body? Monterey, CA: Evan-Moor, 1994.

Moore, Jo Ellen. How Your Body Works. Monterey, CA: Evan-Moor, 1995.

Both of these books have good simple diagrams of the digestive system.

Suggested Books

Cole, Joanna. The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body. New York: Scholastic, 1989.

Pluckrose, Henry. Tasting. London: Franklin Watts, 1986.

Richardson, Joy. What Happens When You Eat? Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1986.

Showers, Paul. What Happens to a Hamburger. New York: HarperCollins, 1985.


Say: We are going to focus on the digestive and excretory systems this month. Write those two terms on the board. Explain to the children that both of these systems help the body process the food we eat and the beverages we drink. Ask: Have you ever wondered what happens to food after you eat it, but before it leaves your body as waste?

Read What Happens to a Hamburger by Paul Showers or pages 1-11 of The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole.

Ask: What are some of the reasons we eat food? (hungry, tastes good) Tell the children that the part of the mouth that helps them enjoy food is their taste buds. Say: If you stick out your tongue as you are looking in a mirror, you will notice that your tongue is covered with tiny bumps. These are your taste buds. Your taste buds help you to tell how a food tastes. Explain to the children that the tongue can only detect four kinds of tastes and their combinations--bitter, sour, salty, and sweet.

Tell the children that before their bodies can use the food they eat it must be broken down. This process starts in your mouth. Your teeth break the food down into small pieces and then your saliva or spit mixes with the food to help break it down. Say: Next time you look in a mirror, open your mouth and examine your teeth. You will notice that your front teeth are not the same as your back teeth. Your front teeth are thinner, sharper, and are used to cut into food. When you take a bite into something the front teeth that are used are called incisors. Your back teeth are wider and have bumps on them. These teeth, called molars, are used to grind food into smaller pieces. There are also two pointy teeth between your incisors and molars called bicuspids. Tell the children to look at their neighbor's teeth as they smile. Ask: Do you see the teeth that are longer and pointier than the rest? Those are bicuspids, sometimes called canine teeth.

Explain to the children that chewing makes it easier for food to be swallowed and travel down a tube called the esophagus into your stomach. In your stomach, food is churned and mixed with stomach fluids. From your stomach the food and liquids travel through the small intestine where the digestion of your food is finished. The digested food seeps through the walls of your BCP DRAFT SCI 50

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 25 - The Digestive System

small intestine into your blood, so that it can be carried to different parts of your body.

Have the class or individual children tell you the path in which food travels through the digestive system. For example, the child might say: The food in the mouth is chewed into smaller pieces. It then goes down the esophagus to the stomach. From the stomach the food goes to the small intestine. You may want to draw a simple diagram of the digestive system on the board and draw the path the food takes as the children explain.


Second Grade - Science - Lesson 26 - The Excretory System


Identify the parts of the excretory system.


Excretory system worksheet - one per student (also make a transparency from the worksheet)

Teacher Resources

De Weese, Robert. What's Inside Your Body? Monterey, CA: Evan-Moor, 1994.

Moore, Jo Ellen. How Your Body Works. Monterey, CA: Evan-Moor, 1995.

Both of these books have good simple diagrams of the excretory system.

Suggested Books

Gomi, Taro. Everyone Poops. New York: Kane/Miller, 1993.


Tell the children that in their last science lesson they learned how the body digests food. Say: In first grade when you studied the human body, you did a demonstration of what happens to food in the digestive system. Remind the children of the steps they followed and the parts of the digestive system that the steps represented.

Put a Rainbow Chips Deluxe cookie in a baggie.

crush cookie - the teeth break food into small pieces

add small amount of water - saliva mixes with the pieces to make liquid

squeeze bag contents, mixing it - churning in the stomach mixes the food together

absorb liquid in bag with a damp sponge - small intestine - digested food is taken into the blood

remainder (brown mush) - waste


Say: Today we are going to learn what happens to the food that the body does not use, similar to the brown mush that remained after the above demonstration last year. By the time the food is ready to leave your stomach, it has been broken down into bits so small you cannot see them. The food then moves to the small intestine.

Read the following to the children:


The small intestine then begins to absorb the food into the blood. The blood brings the nutrients to all the cells of your body.

What happens to the leftover materials in the small intestine, the things that can't be digested? This solid waste moves from your small to your large intestine. This is the last part of the journey. Water from the leftovers is absorbed into the blood. Finally, the solid waste passes out of your body through the anus as feces.

Your body makes urine in a totally separate process. This story starts with the blood, which carries waste away from the cells of the body. The blood goes through the kidneys, which separate out the urine from the blood. The urine is stored in the bladder until it passes out of your body through the urethra.(1)


Review with the children that when they eat, part of the food is not used by the body. This unused food is sent on to the large intestine where it is packed together and then passed out of the body when you use the toilet. The solid brown material that you release is called feces and it is parts of the food that never got digested.

Give each child an excretory system worksheet. Display the excretory system transparency. Have the children label the parts of the excretory system as you write the names of the organs on the transparency.



Second Grade - Science - Lesson 27 - Taking care of your body


Review the four basic food groups.

Identify a food pyramid.


Drawing materials

Large sheets of construction or drawing paper



Food pyramid diagram - one for each child

Chart paper (draw a food guide pyramid to display in the classroom, example attached)

Magazines or newspaper flyers

Background Information- Adapted from Teacher's Helper: Grades 2-3, Nov/Dec/Jan 1993-94.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture designed the Food Guide Pyramid to help people make more healthful food choices. The Food Guide Pyramid is a guideline for choosing a variety of different foods in the appropriate amounts each day.

Breads, cereals, rice, and pasta group -- 6-11 servings (9 servings recommended for children)

Fruit group -- 2-4 servings (3 servings recommended for children)

Vegetable group -- 3-5 servings (4 servings recommended for children)

Milk, yogurt, and cheese group -- 2-3 servings (same for children)

Meat, poultry, fish, dried beans, eggs, and nuts group -- 2-3 servings (2 servings recommended for children)

Fats, oils, and sweets group -- eat sparingly

Suggested Books

Caseley, Judith. Grandpa's Garden Lunch. New York: Greenwillow, 1990.

Dragonwagon, Crescent. This Is the Bread I Baked for Ned. New York: Macmillan, 1989.

Ehlert, Lois. Growing Vegetable Soup. San Diego: HBJ, 1987.

Fleming, Denise. Lunch. New York: Scholastic, 1992.

Gross, Ruth Belov. What's On My Plate? New York: Macmillan, 1990.

Hausherr, Rosemarie. What Food Is This? New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Leedy, Loreen. The Edible Pyramid: Good Eating Every Day. New York: Holiday House, 1994.

Sharmat, Mitchell. Gregory, The Terrible Eater. New York: Scholastic, 1980.

Teacher Resource

Write to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on school stationery to receive a free food pyramid poster and teaching guide.

U. S. Dep. of Agriculture

Human Nutrition Information Service

6505 Belcrest Road

Hyattsville, MD 20782



Second Grade - Science - Lesson 27 - Taking care of your body


Review the four basic food groups (meat and fish, dairy products, breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables.) Tell the children that in order for their bodies to be healthy and grow they must eat foods that are good for them from each of the four main food groups.

Write the following sentence on the board: You are what you eat. Encourage volunteers to tell what they think the saying means, guide children to the understand that in order to be healthy, they need to eat healthy foods. Tell the children that the United States Department of Agriculture developed a chart in the shape of a pyramid or triangle. Display the large food guide pyramid chart and discuss it with the children. Hand out the food pyramid diagram. Explain that more of the foods from the largest section of the pyramid should be eaten and less of the foods that would be included in the smallest section should be eaten. Emphasize that bread, cereal, rice and pasta make up the largest part of the pyramid and are the base of a healthy diet. Fats, oils and sweets are at the top of the pyramid in the smallest section and should be eaten in small amounts.

Name different kinds of foods and ask children to point to and name the area of the pyramid where the food belongs. Next, have the children make food pyramid posters. Give each child a copy of the attached food pyramid, a large piece of construction paper, and copies of old magazines and newspaper flyers. Have the children cut out the pyramid and glue it in the middle of a large piece of construction paper. Next, have them cut out pictures of different foods and glue them on the construction paper next to the food group where they belong.



Second Grade - Science - Lesson 28 - Taking care of your body


Identify the body's need for vitamins and minerals.


Labels from food cans or packages (Photocopy and then make an overhead transparency of the nutritional information from one of the labels.)

Suggested Books

See list from Lesson 27


Tell the children in order to have a healthy diet, they must eat foods from the four main food groups. Say: Some foods are good for you because they contain vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Read the following paragraph to the class:


All these foods have chemicals called vitamins and minerals which need to be eaten in the right amounts to keep us healthy. Vitamin A from carrots and other vegetables gives us healthy skin, hair, tissues, and eyes. Vitamin C from oranges and other citrus fruits protects cells and helps growth. Vitamin D, found in milk, helps us have strong teeth and bones. Calcium and phosphorous are minerals necessary for building strong bones. Calcium also helps our muscles work. Other minerals help out, too. Potassium and sodium (found in table salt) help our nerves work well. And iron, found in many foods, helps the blood do its job.(2)

One way to tell if the foods you eat contain certain vitamins and minerals is to look at the nutritional information on the packages or labels of a boxed or canned food product. Display the nutritional information transparency. Point out the amounts of vitamins, minerals, fat, and sugar. Remind the children that the food pyramid shows us that foods high in fats and sugars should not be eaten often. Tell them that cookies, candy, potato chips, and other snack chips are usually high in fat.

Check the nutritional information for a variety of foods, point out how many vitamins and minerals are provided by each product and also the number of fat grams. Construct a bar graph on the board comparing the fat grams in different snack options. Have the children decide which are the healthier snacks.

Additional Activity


Construction paper

Magazines or newspaper flyers



Second Grade - Science - Lesson 28 - Taking care of your body

Materials (cont.)

Scissors, Glue


Remind the children of the saying You are what you eat. Have the children make figures by gluing pictures of different kinds of food on construction paper. For instance, since Vitamin A can be found in carrots and is good for hair, skin, and eyes, a child may wish to use a picture of a carrot for a head. For the body, a child may wish to use a container of milk, since milk is good for bones and muscles.

1. E. D. Hirsch. What Your 2nd Grader Needs to Know. (New York: Dell, 1993), 277-278.

2. E. D. Hirsch. What Your 2nd Grader Needs to Know. (New York: Dell, 1993), 279-280.