This is a quick interactive lesson that can be used for an Anatomy, Biology, or 7th grade classroom.
Here is how it can be aligned with each subject (South Carolina State Standards):
Respiratory System- There are no state standards for Anatomy in South Carolina
I use this lesson as part of my unit on the Respiratory System. We talk about the size of our lungs, expansion of the Thoracic Cavity, how our body feels when we deplete it of Oxygen, and the job of the Diaphragm.
Cellular Respiration Standards B-3.2
"It is essential for students to understand... oxygen is a molecule found in cellular respiration... cellular respiration is vital to energy production through the production of ATP."
In Biology, this should be used briefly as a tactile way to show how important oxygen and carbon dioxide are to our bodies. As students breath in the class talks about oxygen consumption and as they breath out, into the bottle, their Carbon Dioxide stores. This helps them remember which side each falls on the cellular respiration chemical equation.
7th grade Science-
Respiratory System Indicator 7-3
7-3.3 "It is essential for students to know... when air is inhaled, air fills the lungs, and when air is exhaled, the chest cavity decreases in size".
This lesson can be used to reinforce the respiratory system and its function. It can also be used to show how much air we are capable of holding in our lungs.
Conducting the Lesson
One Bottle or jar- at least 2 liters or larger
1 yard of flexible tubing (dialysis or medical tubing work the best)
A tub of water that is at least 6 inches deep
Lots of Water
1. Evenly down the side of your jar or bottle, mark off measurements from 100-0 using a permanent marker.
2. Fill your tub half way full with water.
3. Fill your jar to the brim with water.
4. Carefully flip your jar so that it is upside down in the water. You will lose about 20% of your water but that is fine.
5. Place one end of the tub inside the bottle so that it is in the jug or bottle. The other end should be outside of the water.
*repeat steps 2-5 for each student
One at a time, have students sanitize the free end of the tube, take a deep breath, and blow out as long as they can manage. The air bubbles inside the jar will push the water out of the jar and into the water bath for as long as the student is able to blow. When they stop blowing, measuring how far the water receded using your markings. The amount of water that is left inside the jar shows the amount of air that emptied out of the lungs. This shows a student their lung capacity.
Because you are not doing exact measurements, I use the data as a comparison from student to student. One student admitted to smoking and it was evident that their lung capacity was lower. Our largest lung capacity belonged to a tuba player and track athlete. We talked about what exercise does to enhance our lung capacity.
Here are some pictures from the lesson I did this year. It was tacky day so excuse some of the strange outfits!
And I had about a million photo bombs from the student who was suppose to be taking pictures!
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.