Friday, May 4, 2012

Picking Apart The Parts In THE SUM OF OUR PARTS

In an attempt to throw some light on THE SUM OF OUR PARTS, this post begins a series of posts containing exerpts from the books published in the series so far---short, if brazen, teasers to tickle your thinking.  If you are curious and want to learn more about the books, just click on the book covers at right and you will be taken as if by magic to the publisher's website and the book page for each book.  So, here goes.

The first book in the series was "No Bones About It" which is about the human skeleton.  As it turns out, the average person doesn't really know all that much about their own structural foundation.  Oh, sure, we hear about drinking milk to make our bones strong.  And in the upper elementary grades (usually 7th or 8th), we may even spend a few weeks memorizing the major bones. 

A few of us may even break a bone or two growing up.  It's kind of fun to have all your friends sign your cast.  But that's learning some of the bone names the hard way.  Don't you owe it to yourself to learn as much as you can about what makes your physical body tick?  We'll get to muscles and circulation, the brain, skin and all the rest one by one. 

First, let's start with a few verses and factoids about the skeleton.  The rhyme at the end, although not in the book, is a little bonus (pardon the pun) to stimulate your skeletal thinking.... 

Without all our bones
We'd be shapeless and blobby---
Just skin, guts and muscles,
All gooey and globby.

To learn all their names,
Let's start from the bottom;
And when you can say 'em,
You'll know that you've got 'em.

Your toes are phalanges;
The tarsals come next.
They wiggle and move
When your feet become flexed.

The cuneiforms, cuboid,
Join tallus, calcaneous---
You're done with your feet!

OK.  That's enough to give you an idea about the rhyming text in the book.  There are also interesting facts on each page just waiting to be discovered, not to mention all the quirky and very easy to grasp illustrations by Eugene Ruble.

Did You Know?  Keeping your bones supplied with Calcium and Vitamin D will help them stay healthy and help prevent osteoporosis, which makes your bones brittle as you get older.

Did You Know?   The smallest bone in the human body is a U-shaped bone called the "stapes" or "stirrup", located in the middle ear.  Its main job is to vibrate and it is only about 1/4 of a centimeter long, which is not much wider than the small end of a chopstick. 

Did You Know?  The human skeleton weighs about 14 percent of what someone's total body weight is....  For a ten year old child who weighs 75 pounds, the skeleton would probably weigh about 10-12 pounds. 

Did You Know?  Believe it or not, your bones are really small factories where blood is produced....  Every second, your bones produce about 2.5 million new Red Blood Cells....

In The Bone Zone
By Bill Kirk

Bones!  Bones!
We all got bones
They’re as hard as
rocks and stones.

You can feel ‘em,
thick or thin—
Under muscles,
Under skin.

In your elbow,
Wrist and toes,
Even right on
Top your nose.

Count your ribs.
Can you make ten?
Laugh and you must
Start again.

Feel your fingers,
Each bone shows.
Easy!  They are
All in rows.

Hip bones, spine and
Either knee;
You can find them—
One, two, three.

Come on now. 
Let’s have some fun.
Searching for
Your skeleton.

Copyright Bill Kirk 2002-2015

For the remaining rhyming verses about the rest of the skeleton stacked on top of your feet and for even more interesting factoids about how your skeleton works, you'll have to look for the book.  You might even ask your school librarian if it's in the library's collection.  If it is, it would be available for others in your school to check out, too.  Stop back by in a couple days to catch a few snippets about the Circulatory System.

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