I just finished teaching an anatomy block in an eighth grade, my second time teaching this block (which almost never happens), and I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good about determining which materials are the most useful.
The one essential item is a skeleton. Do whatever you need to borrow a skeleton to teach the block. Because the eighth grade block is not just about the skeleton but about how the skeleton interacts with the physical forces of the world, it’s pretty important that you work with something that you can observe moving, rather than a drawn picture of a skeleton.
Anatomy for the Artist by Jeno Barcsay is a book that I used extensively this time around, though I hardly used it at all the last time I taught this block. The drawings are incredibly well-done and it was quite handy to have drawings to refer to. It also contained much more information than I realized at first and I ended up using it as a resource for information, not just drawings.
Uprightness, Weight, and Balance is the Waldorf book on eighth grade anatomy. It does a pretty good job of outlining the block and sticking very close to Steiner’s recommendations for this block, but I did find that I needed to pull material from other sources to round out the block. I found that strictly focusing on the ways our bones interact with the physical forces of the world, without looking for other ways to engage with the material (like memorizing the bones or understanding how our joints and ligaments work together) made for a much less well-rounded experience of the block. It’s still a great book, but not enough to teach an entire block from.
The students and I also read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein together. It was great to read, it went well with studying anatomy and I thoroughly enjoyed the literary analysis the girls and I were able to engage in. Great book!