Updated: Aug 8
2022 UPDATE: A few more books were added to this list for older kids based on our most recent exploration of the human body.
My children and I did a few-months-long unit on the human body last school year. We generally focused on one body part/system per week. With lots of read-aloud picture books, this was a relatively simple way for my kids to learn about the human body.
A Relatively Simple Project to Accompany the Books
One project we enjoyed alongside the books was a life-size paper model of the human body. We used this printable of a child skeleton and added an extra layer of paper on the back so that the skeleton could have some flip-open parts (such as the skull, rib-cage, etc). We added in each organ/body system as we went along learning about the human body. This was a great way to add a hands-on visual to aid my children in understanding how the body all fits together.
30 Books About the Human Body
These were our favorite human body books. I have included age codes to make it clear for which ages each book will be best suited. The age codes are: C = Children 4-9; Y = Youth 9-12; YA = Young Adults 13-15.
Visual Dictionary of the Human Body by DK Visual Dictionaries (C, Y, YA)
Atlas of the Human Body by Vigue-Martin (Y, YA)
The Way We Work by David Macaulay (Y, YA)
Men, Microscopes, and Living Things by Katherine Shippen (Y, YA) - This one is a nice read-aloud for ages ~11+ that describes the development of biology over time. It includes much about animals and plants as well as human biology.
Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov (Y, YA) - This is a good sci-fi read-aloud for ages ~11+ about a ship that gets miniaturized to travel inside the human body. Beware, there is some light language in this book (that you could easily edit out while reading-aloud).
Cells Are Us by Frances Balkwill and Mic Rolph (C, Y, YA)
Enjoy Your Cells by Frances Balkwill and Mic Rolph (C, Y, YA)
DNA Is Here to Stay by Frances Balkwill and Mic Rolph (C, Y, YA)
Brain and Senses
Why I Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup, and Yawn by Melvin Berger (C, Y)
Cold, Crunchy, Colorful - Using Our Senses by Jane Brocket (C, Y)
My Amazing Body - Senses by Angela Royston (C, Y)
The Magic Schoolbus Explores the Senses by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen (C, Y)
Eye to Eye - How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins (C, Y, YA)
The Story of Your Brain and Nerves by Edith Weart (Y, YA)
Blood and Circulatory System
A Drop of Blood by Paul Showers (C, Y)
The Heart by Seymour Simon (Y, YA)
The Story of Your Blood by Edith Weart (Y, YA)
The Story of Your Respiratory System by Edith Weart (Y, YA)
The Respiratory System by Judith Jango-Cohen (C, Y)
Digestive and Excretory Systems
The Magic Schoolbus Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen (C, Y)
The Quest to Digest by Mary Corcoran (C, Y)
Dr. Beaumont and the Man With the Hole in His Stomach by Sam and Beryl Epstein (C, Y, YA)
Inside the Kidneys by Karin Halvorson (C, Y)
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