Exploring our arms
BackgroundHuman beings are unique in the animal kingdom, having learnt to use their arms and specially their fingers so flexibly. Most of us have two arms and we use it for a variety of purposes. We can do very delicate things, like writing, embroidery or fine sculpture. We can also do things requiring strength or force like lifting weights, hitting a ball, gripping a rope while climbing. Exploring how different parts of the arm work together can be fun and informative.
Identify the parts of the arm and their functions.
Recognise that people's arms differ in their size and ability.
Explore the joints in the arm.
How big is your hand? Place your hand, palm downward, on a piece of paper. Draw around it to obtain an outline.
How much can your hand pick?
How strong is your grip? [Use a jungle gym, climbing frame or some such suitable construction] But children should be made to see the unfairness of this test, as the lightest boy is the one who can stay hanging the longest.
How strong is your grip? [Choose a plastic bottle (squeeze bottle)]
How long can you hold up a stool?
How strong is each of your fingers. [A spring balance (20 kg type) is best suited but any other spring balance will do]
Compare your arms with the forelimbs of other animals. How are they different? Compare your arms with the wings of birds. How are they different? Some people do not have or have lost a part of the arm. How do they manage?