Friday, December 2, 2011

Beyond Co-op - Helen Keller #1 and #2

We have started another round of co-ops in our Beyond group.  This time we are studying Helen Keller.  We started with a study of the eye.  This is what led to our first Beyond co-op group years ago when Christopher was in Beyond.  I wanted some friends to dissect an eye with me and thus our co-op began.  Its fun that we have some of the same moms - and younger siblings - in this group.    

The morning began with talking about the various parts of the eye and the function of each part. 

A form detailing the parts of the eye.  (Sorry its sideways!)
An experiment in seeing how the pupil reacts to light.  Covering your eyes and then opening them to expose them to light.  The other student watched what happened to the pupil.
Then they did an experiment to try to locate the "blind spot" in the eye.  They are looking at a spot and moving the paper closer to their face until one of the spots "disappears".  Pretty neat.  You can look here to see some experiments.
Next the kids found this assortment of items on the table.  They each chose an item which represented a part of the eye.   Their task was to line up in the correct order.
Yes, they were successful!
The next activity had each child with a label on his/her back.  They had to figure out what they were and then line up in the correct order.  (Love all the ways of learning this information!)
Snack included an "eyeball".  LOL
We watched a video clip of an eyeball dissection before trying it on our own.
Then it was time.  They kids were told to get into pairs.
This is not a pair I would have selected.  They are the youngest two in the co-op.  I most likely would have placed them each with an older student.  I would have been wrong!  They were both so careful and did a fabulous job together!!!  And had fun too!  :-)
Each pair had a cow's eyeball, gloves and a dissection kit.   (You can order everything you need from Home Science Tools,)
They understood each part from all of the games and exercises that we did earlier.  They carefully followed instructions on how to cut into the eyeball and observe the various parts.
Can you see how the lens magnifies things?
This is the back of the eyeball (retina).  Isn't the color amazing?
I'm so glad that my kids had this experience.  What a great way to learn about the eye!  I'm thankful for friends who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with our children.  This was a great 

For our second co-op, we met together to watch the film The Miracle Worker.  We used a projector and a big sheet for a screen to make it more fun to watch in a group.  :-)

Hope you are enjoying your days and learning about the wonders God has made!



  1. What a wonderful experience. My oldest did a cow's eye a few years ago. It would have been so much more fun with friends.

  2. SMILE brings back memories. We didn't dissect an eye - doing worms was way more enough for us - I still remember the worm cut open & wiggling.... but it was moments like those that I now fondly look back on.

    Love Leanne


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