Inside the Human Body

Students study two important body systems, the digestive and urinary systems, through a variety of informational texts and hands-on projects.



Unit 6

2nd Grade

Unit Summary

In this unit, students study two important body systems in depth, the digestive and urinary systems. Students will be challenged to think about how the human body is a miraculous machine, in particular how the digestive and urinary systems are crucial for survival, by deeply analyzing and exploring the steps in both systems. After learning about how both systems function, students will learn about nutrition and how what we eat can either positively or negatively impact the way our body functions. Students will explore what it means to eat a well-balanced meal and how added sugars harm their bodies. It is our hope that this unit will help students build a deeper understanding of the human body and how the decisions we make daily, especially with food, can either help or harm us.

This unit builds upon skills learned in previous units, and it is assumed that students are inquisitive consumers of text, asking and answering questions about the content they are learning as a way to deepen their understanding of new material. The core text for this unit, The First Human Body Encyclopedia, was chosen because of its wide range of text features and content. While reading the encyclopedia, students should be challenged to think about how the different text features help them locate information and also how the images and diagrams help them clarify the information they are learning. Students should also be challenged to think about the connection between scientific ideas, using language that refers to cause and effect and sequence, particularly when explaining how different systems function. Throughout the unit, students will use all of the strategies they learned in previous units to engage with classmates in partners, small groups, and whole class discussions. Students will continue to build on their peers’ talk and may begin to critique and analyze the reasoning of their peers when applicable.

Students will continue to build writing fluency by writing daily in response to the Target Task question using a variety of simple and complex sentences. Over the course of the unit, students work on brainstorming and writing strong informational and opinion paragraphs. Students have multiple opportunities to write informational pieces about how the human body works, crafting paragraphs that have strong topic sentences, supporting details, facts, and concluding statements. Students also have a chance to continue to refine their opinion writing by writing a letter to their mayor trying to convince them of ways to get more nutritious food to families.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Supporting Materials


These assessments accompany this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

Before you teach this unit, unpack the texts, themes, and core standards through our guided intellectual preparation process. Each Unit Launch includes a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning to ensure you're prepared to support every student.

Essential Questions

  • What makes the human body amazing?
  • Why is the digestive system important?
  • How does food keep our body healthy?

Reading Focus Areas

  • To understand details in an informational text, readers think about how details are connected.

  • Images help the reader clarify their understanding about a particular idea or topic.

Writing Focus Areas

Informational Writing

  • Brainstorm and outline using a Single Paragraph Outline.

  • Introduce the topic with a strong topic sentence

  • Provide a strong concluding statement.

  • Provide facts and details to develop a point.

  • Brainstorm and outline using a Single Paragraph Outline.

Opinion Writing

  • State an opinion. 

  • State an opinion and supply reasons that support that opinion.

Speaking and Listening Focus Areas

  • Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.

  • Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about topics and texts under discussion.



absorb automatically chemical contract digestive enzymes energy encyclopedia excess label nutrients nutritious physical saliva swallow thirst urine villi vomit waste


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To see all the vocabulary for Unit 6, view our 2nd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Content Knowledge and Connections

  • Explain that many important systems in the human body work together to help your body function.
  • Identify important components of the digestive system and their function.
  • Describe the process of nourishing the body from the time food is taken into the mouth until waste is removed from the body.
  • Identify different components of the excretory system and their functions.
  • Explain the importance of vitamins and minerals to the body.

Lesson Map

Common Core Standards

Core Standards


Supporting Standards

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Unit 5

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