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Body Systems

Central Idea:

  • Identity and health influence each other

Learner Outcomes:

  • Active Living:

    • Recognise the importance of regular exercise in the development of well-being​

    • Identify healthy food choices

  • Identity:

    • Examine different factors that shape an identity​

Lesson 1: Pre-Assessment:

I started out this unit with a review of what we learned in grade 2. Rather than a discussion or a worksheet, I used a great platform, “Kahoot!” If you do not know what this is please check out my page on Technology. Briefly, it is an online quiz where multiple choice questions are displayed on a screen and students use their iPads to answer them. It is great fun and an awesome way to review subject matter. 

Afterwards, I connected my iPad to the projector and I used another app called, “Sworkit”. This app is a free workout trainer that displays random exercises to a time limit of your choosing. We did a 10-minute workout and every so often, I gathered the kids around to fill out a table on a poster. We rated how our heart, muscles and lungs felt while performing the exercises.

I then introduced the Central Idea. I did not go into too much detail with the Identity aspect of the phrase since it is more conceptual but the students had no problem breaking down health.

We finished the lesson with a simple game of Stuck in the Mud and rated how our body systems felt during it.

Lesson 2:

We started the lesson with a team run – essentially, the class runs together as a unit. This can be quite difficult for young grades but it does get the kids to work together and warm-up as one.

Afterwards, we reviewed the previous lesson. I wrote up the Central Idea and we quickly went over the health side of things – obesity, sick, food, exercise, etc. But I wanted to get a little bit more in-depth with the heart since we have the concept of form and causation to work on – refer to the Core Planning Document for more information. I wanted the students to understand what the heart is and what happens when we exercise. We went outside to the field, laid down on the ground and took our heart rate. I asked the kids to put two fingers on their carotid artery and count for 6 seconds. 

6 second method for taking heart rate:

  • Place fingers on carotid artery

  • Students count their pulse for 6 seconds

  • Obtain reading

  • Add a zero

  • There is the reading for bpm

Afterwards, we all ran 1 lap of the field, took their heart rate and discussed why it went faster. I did not go into too much detail, but the consensus was because they exercised.

We went back to the projector and I pulled out a great app called, “Anatomy 4D”. Refer to the Technology page on this website for more information. This app produces a 4D image of a heart when a device scans a piece of paper specific for the app. I like to milk the excitement for all it is worth. I asked the class, “Who wants to see their heart?” The majority of kids raised the hands. When you have a whole bunch of students raising their hands, it is a great opportunity to ask a question related to the class. Whoever raises their hand or jumps up first gets to the answer the question. If they are correct, they get to be ‘patient’ (I use this technique a great deal when choosing ‘catchers’ for our activities). E.G.:

  • What is our Central Idea?

  • What is our current unit?

  • Where is the heart located?

  • What does the heart push? Etc.

So we have our patient, I then get them to lie down in front of me with the piece of paper downloaded and printed from the app. With my iPad/iPhone connected to a projector I announce that I am Dr David and I am about to look inside this student’s heart. The class is generally very wrapped and cannot believe they are seeing what they are seeing.

After the intial disbelief of what they were seeing, I asked the kids some questions:

  • “What is the heart doing?”

  • “Why is it making that sound?”

  • “Can we describe what the heart is?” (Concept: Form)

I wanted the kids to make their own conclusions on this. Eventually one student mentioned blood. Then I asked further questions, “

  • “What is blood?”

  • “Where is it going?”

  • “Can we describe what blood is?” (Concept: Form)

We then went to the field and played a game of Pac-Man:

  • 2 catchers

  • Everybody can only run on the lines on the field

  • If a person is caught by the catcher, that person sits on the line

  • That caught person is now blocking the line and no one can pass, except for the 2 catchers

There is a reason for playing this game. In the next lesson, we will review what makes a heart healthy and not healthy. We will play the same game except, we will treat the field as the circulatory system and the 2 catchers are nominated as “bad food” and “pollution.” The people running are blood cells. When the blood cells are caught by the catchers they are blocking the blood vessels. An entertaining and practical way to learn about a morbid subject.

However, that is for next lesson. But for this lesson, we played the original game and discussed afterwards why our heart rate went up when we were running but slowed down once they got caught by the catcher and sat down. I posed leading questions:

  • “What is working hard when we are running?”

  • “What part of our body is working hard to move us as we run?”

  • “Describe the legs, what do they consist of?”

The keyword here is muscles. Once the kids worked out that the blood is used to move the muscles, we were onto something. We finished the lesson by playing another game of Pac-Man, discussed our findings for the lesson and gave them homework – do 10-minutes of Sworkit and try to make your parents join you.

Lesson 3:

After our warm-up we reviewed our previous lesson. We looked at the circulatory system – heart, blood and blood vessels. We then looked at the risk factors that can affect the health of the heart and the circulatory system:

  • Fatty food

  • Sugary food

  • Pollution

To put this in practice, we played our game of Pac-Man but modified the game according to what I described previously. After a few games and discussions between each game, the kids were starting to understand what happens to our circulatory system when we expose ourselves to poor food choices and bad air.

Afterwards, we went to the projector, connected my iPad and showed them “TinyBop – Human Body.” This app is great since it introduces kids to the anatomy and biology of our human body in a fun, self-directed way. I pulled up the circulatory system and showed the kids the enormity of the system. When you repeatedly click on the legs on the bottom right-hand side of the screen, the legs start running and the system adjusts by pumping faster. I asked the kids:

  • “Why does this occur?” (Concept: Causation)

I then selected the heart. The kids explored this and solidified their understanding of where the blood comes from and goes to.

We went outside again for another game of modified Pac-Man but I layered it with a new rule. I designated the centre circle of the field as the heart. If someone gets caught in the heart, the game is immediately over. You can deduce this yourself to what this means medically wise.

With about 10 minutes left of the lesson I wanted to review what we learned so far about the circulatory system so we could move onto the respiratory system for the next lesson.

I drew a picture of the field on the board and told the kids that the field is now a human body. The middle is the heart, the top two corners of the field are the arms and the bottom 2 corners are the legs. The kids are now blood cells. Their job is to do 5 exercises, 10 repetitions each at one of the 4 areas of the field. The students run from the heart to one of the 4 areas of the field. If they choose to go to one of the ‘arms’, they perform an upper body exercise – i.e.: push-ups, arms swings, etc. Same goes for the ‘legs’. Upon completing their exercise, they run back to the heart and get ‘pumped’ to another area of the body. This is a practical approach to reviewing the function of the circulatory system.

Lesson 4:

For this lesson we focused on the respiratory system. After completing our team run, I asked the students why they were breathing hard (Concept: Causation). By this stage, most of the kids had TinyBop on their iPads and we explored the respiratory system together. We looked at the respiratory from the outside, then looked at the internal structure of it and finally into the alveoli.

We went to the field and discussed the path of the oxygen molecules from the air and around the body. Using the field as a human body again I designated the goalie boxes of the field into lungs. I told the class we were all air molecules.

  • “Where do we start?”

  • “Where do we go first?”

  • “Once the body uses the air molecules, where do we go?”

Their next task was to break into groups and discuss the following question:

  • “How are the circulatory and respiratory system connected?”

This is quite a difficult question to ask but they had access to their iPads, so they could use TinyBop or research online for answers.

Upon discovering that the lungs pass oxygen to the blood for the circulatory system to transport to the muscles we went practical with this process. I created signs around the field designating certain parts of the body. They needed to determine the process the body undertakes to make living possible in respect to the circulatory and respiratory system.

  • I gave each group 3 different colored bibs:

    • Yellow = air

    • Red = oxygenated blood

    • Blue = deoxygenated blood

  • They started at the top middle of the field as air, and got breathed in through the nose/mouth

  • They ran down mid-field, past the heart and into either one of the lungs on either side of the field

  • They then should change from a yellow bib into a red bib to indicate they are now oxygenated and in the circulatory system

  • They go to one of the body parts and perform an exercise

  • When they complete the exercise, they should change into a blue bib to indicate they are deoxygenated

  • They then transport themselves back to the lungs via the blood vessels (lines on the field) back to the lungs

  • Once in the lungs, they change back to a yellow bib and are breathed out at where they started.

View the video at the bottom of this page to see how we did it. It is a video from grade 4 but we covered the similar lessons.

This took a few goes but the students learned liked the chance to apply their learning in a practical setting. It was even better that they got to work in groups and could refer to the iPads to help them with the task.

For lesson 5 onwards, please click here.

G3 - Body Systems: Project
G3 - Body Systems: Project
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