Human Body Unit - Week 19 - The Endocrine System

Week 19 - We made a paper model of the endocrine system.

Like the nervous system, the endocrine system sends messages around the body. But unlike the quick response of the nervous system, the endocrine system uses hormones resulting in a much slower reaction time. The pituitary gland is the boss which controls most of the other glands by sending hormone messengers. However, there is one higher level boss. It is the hypothalamus portion of the brain which controls the pituitary gland. The Way We Work by David Macaulay has several pages which include drawings to help us better understand the endocrine system.

Once Upon a Time Life, The Hormones is an episode in the animated children's series which shows what happens when the endocrine system doesn't function properly. The kids love to watch the hormones being manufactured in the hypothalamus from iodine and traveling the body delivering messages.

We began our endocrine model with a large paper person.

Next we created several glands which were pasted onto the person and labeled.

Hypothalamus - Portion of the Brain that controls the endocrine system
Pituitary Gland - Boss gland located in the brain near the hypothalamus
Pineal Gland - Internal body clock gland located in the brain and self regulated
Thyroid Gland - Located in the neck and controls metabolism, it receives direction from the Pituitary Gland.
Thymus Gland - Located in the chest and works to activate the immune system during childhood.
Adrenal Glands - Located in the kidneys they control reactions to stress
Pancreas - Controls sugar levels in the body
Mammary Gland, Ovary and Testis - Control reproduction

After all the glands were placed on the body we added "roads" from the Pituitary Gland to each of the glands it controls with hormones. Next we wrote the names of each of the hormones that travel the roads and talked about their functions. For example, the oxytocin hormone is sent to the mammary glands and uterus when babies are born to push the baby out and tell the body to begin milk production. The TSH, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is sent to the Thyroid Gland to regulate metabolism.

The endocrine system is a largely unfamiliar system to most of us non-medical people, but this simple activity makes it much easier to understand.

This post is linked to: 
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We Made That

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1 comment:

  1. I love your human anatomy lessons I hope to use many of them when we work on this topic:0


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