Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Body System Diagrams

Subject Area

Arts Education




Students will demonstrate their knowledge of human body systems by creating a work of art that displays the included organs and their functions.

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 4 - Visual Arts


    Collaboratively design and create artwork that has meaning and purpose.

    Unpacked Content



    • Constructed environment
    • Cultural traditions
    • Digital format
    • Engagement
    • Tertiary color
    • Preservation
    • Proportion
    • Principles of design
      • Unity
    • Shade
    • Style
    • Tints & shades

    Essential Questions

    EU: Artists and designers shape artistic investigations, following or breaking with traditions in pursuit of creative artmaking goals.
    EQ: How does knowing the contexts, histories, and traditions of art forms help create works of art and design? Why do artists follow or break from established traditions? How do artists determine what resources and criteria are needed to formulate artistic investigations?

    Skills Examples

    • Create a list of multiple ideas, sketches, or thumbnail-sketches before beginning the final version of an artwork.
    • Identify, select, and vary art materials, tools and processes to achieve desired results in their artwork.
    • Brainstorm (alone or with others) potential art styles for a given piece of art, such as Monet's Water Lilies.
    • Create an artwork from direct observation (still-life, self-portrait, figure drawing, etc.).
    • Design a two-dimensional drawings of a futuristic art room, town, or planet
    • Use wood, found objects, wire, paper, or clay-based materials to construct a three-dimensional form.
    • Locate business logos in the community and explore the visual arts skills and materials that were used to create these works.
    • Engage in group critiques of one's work and the work of others.
    • Experiment with art materials by using them in unusual and creative ways to express ideas and convey meaning.
    • Use and care for materials, tools, and equipment in a manner that prevents danger to oneself and others.
    • Mix equal parts of a primary and a secondary color located beside each other on the color wheel to create a tertiary color.
    • Use the design principles of repetition and alignment to add visual unity to an artwork.
    • Create a painting using a monochromatic color scheme by using one color (red) adding white to create a tint (a lighter value--pink) and adding black to the color (red) to create a shade (darker value).

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
    Science (2015) Grade(s): 4


    Obtain and communicate information explaining that humans have systems that interact with one another for digestion, respiration, circulation, excretion, movement, control, coordination, and protection from disease.

    Unpacked Content



    • communicate
    • articulate
    • obtain
    • structure
    • function
    • interactions
    • digestion
    • respiration
    • circulation
    • excretion
    • movement
    • control
    • coordination
    • protection
    • disease
    • body systems


    Students know:
    • Humans have systems that interact with one another.
    • The purpose, functions, and interactions of the digestive system.
    • The purpose, functions, and interactions of the respiratory system.
    • The purpose, functions, and interactions of the circulatory system.
    • The purpose, functions, and interactions of the excretory system.
    • The purpose, functions, and interactions of the systems that contribute to movement, control, and coordination.
    • The purpose, functions, and interactions of the systems that protect the body from disease.


    Students are able to:
    • Obtain information by reading and comprehending grade-appropriate complex texts about the interacting systems in the human body.
    • Evaluate information about interactions and functions of human body systems by comparing and/or combining across complex texts and/or other reliable media.
    • Communicate information orally and/or in written formats about interactions and functions of human body systems.


    Students understand that:
    • The body is a system of interacting parts that makes up a whole and carries out functions its individual parts can not.

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Systems and System Models


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Students will recall prior knowledge of human body systems.

    Students will apply knowledge of human body systems to collaboratively create a work of art that explains the functions of their assigned system.

    Activity Details

    The student(s) will:

    1.) review the various body systems and their functions: skeletal, circulatory, muscular, respiratory, nervous, and digestive.

    2.) be divided into 6 groups, with one system assigned to each group.

    3.) collaborate with their group members to come up with a way to artistically represent their assigned system, such as:

    • Tracing a student lying on the floor onto butcher paper and creating the organs inside the outline using felt, yarn, glitter, feathers, etc.
    • Creating a 3-D model of their system using clay, balloons, etc.

    4.) The students must also label each of the organs in their assigned systems.

    5.) After students have completed their artwork, they will present their creation to the class, explaining the organs, how they function within the system, and how their system interacts with other systems.

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Determine if the students have prior knowledge of body systems and their interactions by observing their finished products and explanations.

    Determine if the students were able to collaboratively create a meaningful work of art by observing their final project.

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Prior to beginning the activity, the teacher should gather materials, such as:

    • Roll of poster/kraft paper
    • Markers, crayons, colored pencils, paints
    • Clay or Model Magic
    • Craft supplies such as: felt, yarn, glitter, beads, fabric, etc.
    • Recycled materials such as bottles, plastic containers, bubble wrap, etc.
    • Natural materials such as sticks, leaves, hay, etc.
    • Scissors
    • Glue, glue sticks, tape