Bodies: Anatomy and Physiology

Essex Street Academy

Consortium school

This course will be an introductory anatomy and physiology course for 11th and 12th graders. Students will explore the topic of homeostasis and study the organ systems of the human body such as the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, and nervous systems, and their roles in maintaining homeostasis. In addition to conducting dissections, students will be using the scientific method and their laboratory skills to investigate factors that affect heart rate recovery, reaction time, and the vital capacity of the lungs. Students will have a chance to present their final project as their science PBAT as required for graduation.

BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study): Biology, A Human Approach
Holt: Biology
The Human Body Book by Steve Parker
Human by DK Smithsonian Institution

Students will research various body mechanisms and organ systems that contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis, including: enzymes, metabolism, and the organ systems (respiratory, digestive, nervous, and circulatory). Students will also research the diseases that affect these organ systems and how these diseases result in the loss of homeostasis. For their experiments, students will also research various indicators of organ systems that doctors and scientists use, such as pulse, heart recovery rate, lung capacity, and reaction time.

Media Used: 
TeensHealth (
PBS: The Mysterious Human Heart
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (
Osmosis Jones (Homeostasis)
Interim Assessments: 

Design your own lab #1: Factors affecting catalase enzyme reaction rate. After observing catalase reactions (enzymes found in living cells that break down hydrogen peroxide), students will design their own lab to investigate a possible factor that could affect the rate of the catalase reaction.

Design your own lab #2: Exercise and muscle fatigue. Students will study how the circulatory system works to deliver essential materials to the muscles. Then students will design a lab to see the effects of exercise on muscle performance.

Lab #3: The effect of height on lung capacity. Students will practice essential lab skills, such as controlling for variables and representing data on graphs, through this experiment on lung capacity, an indicator of the respiratory system.

Significant Assignments: 

Hospital Triage - role-playing as ER doctors; ranking 7 patients based on vital signs, identification of stressors and disrupted systems, recommendation of treatments that would restore homeostasis to disrupted systems

Constructing a map of the digestive system; creating models of neuron

Tour of the respiratory system from the perspective of an oxygen molecule

Significant Activities or Projects: 

Project: Overview of organ systems. Students will be given a choice of assessments through which they will demonstrate their knowledge of the organ systems. They will choose one of the following: 1) a travel itinerary/guidebook of 3 organ systems; 2) a letter to Superintendent arguing the importance of science classes, learning about the human body, and the relevance of this topic to daily lives; 3) production of fliers for a health clinic about 3 diseases and the organ systems they affect.

Homeostasis Project - in-depth analysis of a stressor/response situation and the feedback mechanism that occurs in the body to produce the response

Frog and Pig Dissections

Field trip to Bodies: The Exhibition

In-class demonstrations of organ systems using models

Sample PBATs: 
The effects of sleep deprivation on reaction time
How does body mass index affect heart rate recovery?
The effects of secondhand smoke on lung capacity
How do different types of music affect visual reaction time?
How does athleticism affect resting pulse rate?