The Final Science Shelf, and What the Teen Boy does

This is the last post on what we do for hands on work.  Today it’s all about zoology and what the teen boy works on, which is different as he is technically in middle school, with no significant learning delays and these are lower elementary/preschool activities for the most part.

This summer we spent time reviewing the vertebrates and then  went into some invertebrate work with insects and arachnids (it will be shifting to mollusca and also taking a look at crustaceans in October)

Here we go:


1. Kurt

2. Vertebrate Animal x-rays


The activity is naming the animal picture and placing them in a row along the carpet edge, then using the xrays, pointing to the skull, running fingers along the backbone, matching with the picture. I keep them in an old first/then folder from Pete’s school days – First/Then is a very simple (effective) visual tool for organizing work.

3. Books on the Shelves


4. Parts of a Butterfly three part cards


5.  Life Cycles (honey bee, butterfly, frog)


 6. Insect Picture Cards and Labels

Very basic common insects and their labels.

7.  Insect/Arachnid X rays

Same concept as the other xrays but activity is

  • to count the legs and decide insect or arachnid
  • If insect,  pointing to and naming the different insect segments

8. Insect or Arachnid?   Specimen sort.


9. Parts of a Frog -three part cards

10. Animal Cell three part Cards


While Aidan and Lily ARE free to do any of the activities on this shelf, this is the only one meant just for them as we discussed cells and one cell-ed organisms in their zoology studies this summer.

Which leads me to:

What Aidan does for hands on work

The boy wants nothing more than to work with his hands. Lily also uses this equipment, the items that are solely Aidan’s- with permission.  As mentioned, he is allowed to do any of the activities on the shelves but usually chooses to do these things:

  • He uses his microscope (it was a Christmas present a few years ago,he was giddy) for many different things. We keep it in the dining room.  (my china cabinet is full of books and lab equipment, inside and stuffed on top.  I keep caterpillars there and on the refrigerator, we’re weird, if this hadn’t occurred to you already)
  • Knex Education kits (DNA, Forces energy and motion, other building kits) I buy these as I can, they are awesome.
  • His Chemistry Set (Gift four years ago, no one is allowed to touch this one) It’s not exactly for work time -He waits till people are gone or sleeping to pull this out, I haven’t any idea what he’s doing beyond asking him if i need to pick up or order extra supplies.
  • His snap circuits set which includes an workbook and quizzes (he completes and checks himself) Product description : Snap Circuits Student Training: Model SC750R – Snap Circuits Extreme for the Ultimate Experience with 750 Experiments!You will learn about electromagnets, do solar powered experiments and this kit has 73 computer interfaced experiments! Includes building a strobe light, rechargeable battery and transistor AM radio. Ages 12 – through high school”  Last year’s gift, I expect he’ll finish soon.
  • Zoology Coloring Book – Slow and Steady work. He likes this series and finished Human Anatomy a few months ago.  Highly detailed information.
  • Tracing and Labeling the Human Anatomy Charts
  • Lego Mindstorms  – (Robotics- end of seventh grade present this year because i didn’t want to wait for Christmas)  these are pricey as hell. It took me forever to afford this for him.  He was in tears of joy.  He lets Lily help. The boy (who recoils at touch most of the time) HUGGED ME.  This counts for work but is an anytime thing.



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