The Circulatory System
An AskERIC Lesson Plan
Submitted by: Christopher Oravec
School/University/Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Endorsed by: Bernard Poole
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Date: January 31, 2000
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Science / Biology and Life Sciences
Duration: One 50 minute session
Description: Introduces the parts of the human circulatory system with emphasis on the heart.
Goals: Students will:
1. become familiar with the parts of the circulatory system.
2. define the functions of the parts of the circulatory system.
3. explain the importance of the circulatory system to the human body
Objectives: Students will:
1. identify the major parts of the human circulatory system and describe their function.
2. identify the major components of the heart and describe their function.
3. diagram the path that blood takes through the human circulatory system.
Circulatory system poster
heart circulation handout
black permanent marker
circulatory system signs for classroom
web work sheet "The Circulatory System,"
watches with second hands
Textbook: Biology 4th ed. by Campbell. Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company. 1996.
a. Introduction- attention getter: (estimated time 5 minutes)
1. Have the students hold out a clenched fist and ask the following question. Q: What organ in your body is about the size of your fist? (A: your heart)
2. Now have the students place two fingers on their neck below their ear to feel the rhythmic motion of blood and ask Q: What is this that we are feeling? (A: A pulse or heart beat) Explain why they can feel it at this location.
3. Ask the question Q: What do you think is the leading cause of death in the United States every year? (A: Heart disease) Inform the students that today we will discuss the heart and its role in the circulatory system.
b. Classroom Circulatory System: (estimated time 10-12 minutes) Need poster, blue balloons (marked -O2), red balloons (marked +O2)
1. Show students the poster of the Circulatory System and tell them that we are going to turn the room into a circulatory system like the one in the poster
2. Ask for student volunteers to be the lungs, capillaries, left heart, and right heart. Instruct them where to stand and explain their jobs.
3. Tell the remaining students that they represent the blood in the circulatory system.
4. Have the students follow you through the classroom circulatory system, exchanging the red balloons for blue balloons and explain what is happening along the way.
5. Once everyone is back at the front of the room, have them follow you through again, but faster, and inform them that this represents a faster heartbeat.
6. Collect all materials and have the students return to their seats.
7. Give the students the heart circulation handout and go over the parts of the heart and their function in the circulatory system.
1. Complete the web work sheet "The Circulatory System" (described in activity c).
2. Complete Pulse Rate Chart (described in activity d).
3. Read in text pages 819 to 830 and study for quiz at the end of the week.
c. Web Activity : (estimated time 15 minutes)
1. Instruct the students to go to their individual computers in the classroom.
2. Have the students access the internet and go to http://www.innerbody.com/htm/body.html
3. Instruct the students to click around the circulatory system and read about the parts that we discussed in class.
4. Have them view the beating heart on the web page.
5. Assignment: Hand out web worksheet "The Circulatory System" and instruct the students to use the web page to complete the work sheet.
d. Calculating Blood Pressure and Heart Rate: (estimated time 15-20 minutes)
1. Inform students of the process of taking one's blood pressure and show them a few examples.
2. Have the students get into groups of four or five and give each group a few watches with second hands.
3. Explain how to find one's heart rate and have the students take each other's pulse.
4. Have the students run in place for 25 seconds and then take each other's pulse again.
5. Assignment 2: Have the students make a chart containing the information that they found in the activity and share the charts with other groups.
e. Conclusion- wrap up: (estimated time 5 minutes)
1. Conclude the lesson by having the students clear their desks. Ask for volunteers to come to the board and draw a part of the circulatory system.
2. Ask another student what the part's function is in the circulatory system.
3. Repeat until the circulatory system is complete.
4. Next, place the heart overhead onto the projector.
5. Point to different parts of the heart and have one student name the part and another explain its function.
6. Finish by asking the students if they have any questions or comments about today's lesson.
a. Progress towards objectives:
1. Check the work sheet, charts, and use the review to see if the students can:
a. Identify the major parts of the circulatory system and describe their function.
b. Identify the major parts of the heart and describe their function.
c. Diagram the path that blood takes through the human circulatory system.
Useful Internet Resources:
Web Work Sheet "The Circulatory System"
Directions: Use the web site http://www.innerbody.com/htm/body.html to answer the following questions about the human circulatory system.
1. Click on the Cardiovascular System, then click on the heart:
What does the buffer zone of the heart do?
2. Now click on the lungs:
What do the lungs have to sweep debris out of them for expulsion?
3. Click on the Arch of Aorta:
What are the three major arteries that branch form this structure?
4. What is the name of the artery that is farthest from the heart?