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Circulatory System

Compiled By: Mrs. G

Activities to use when teaching about the human heart and circulatory system.

writing and circulatory system
Posted by: LLK

One thing I have done in the past is to have the kids write about the journey a blood cell takes throughout the body. I have required certain terms to be mentioned in the piece, but gave them creativity in the outcome. What I mean is that the science words needed to be used correctly but they had free reign with the story. It was fun.
We created pictures to go along with the stories.
Hope this helps.

heart activities
Posted by: Carolyn

I teach fifth grade. When we studied the circulatory system, I did an activity which incorporated math. It was practical and "hands-on". First, I showed the kids how to take their pulse and count the beats for 15 seconds. Then I handed out a table where they were to record measurements. I started the activity by explaining that we were going to do several activities which involve motion (standing) or sitting and we were going to record our heartbeat for the fifteen seconds immediately after we finished the activity.

I started by having them record their heartbeat as they sat at their desk. I then had them predict if their heartrate would change if I turned off the lights. I had them take their pulse with the lights off. They concluded that it was slower. I asked them why this might have happened. They said that maybe they were more relaxed with the lights off. What happens when you are more relaxed. Probably our heart will slow down, they concluded. I had them stand up and see if there was a difference. We followed this up with walking around the room for one minute, and we finished with jumping jacks for one minute. By the end of the activity they concluded that their heart would beat faster when it was working harder with more physical activity and less relaxation.

I also asked our school's nurse to come in. She brought in her stethoscope and blood pressure monitor. She has never been a teacher, but she did a really outstanding job of talking to the kids about their hearts and doing activities related to the heart.

just finished unit
Posted by: chantal

We are just finishing a unit on the circulatory system. Yesterday, the class examined (I skipped the dissection part, didn't want to use scalpels with 5th graders) hearts from deer, pigs, and a cow. The deer hearts I received from a parent in class who hunts and the other 3 hearts were donated by a local grocery store so it cost nothing! The students had a lab sheet and they were able to touch, pick up, poke the hearts to examine them. I had a lab sheet so that they were looking for particular anatomy. We watched a movie by National geographic from 1998 that was excellent at explaining how the heart and blood work. We did jumping jacks and measured pulses, listened with cheap stethescopes. They also create and color a heart with construction paper. If you have no $$ in your budget, you can get things donated, just ask (the hospital donated the surgical gloves!)

Blood Soup
Posted by: Teachzm

I make blood soup as a 'reward' for my students. Here's what I do:

I give each kid a ziploc baggie. As we discuss each blood component, I add an ingredient to their bag.

Plasma = corn syrup
White blood cells = marshmallows
Platelets = rice
Red Blood Cells = red hots.

They love it!

View Thread
Posted by: Julianne

We took red and blue tape and taped out a HUGE heart on our gym floor. We included the major arteries and veins so the kids could see where the blood came from and where it went. Then we all lined up and became the blood pumping through the heart. Another teacher even got creative and brought in a drum so someone could "thump-thump" as we trotted around the heart. Then we got REAL creative and stationed teachers at every place in the heart where there would be a valve. The teachers "opened" and "closed" to let kids through a few at a time as the heart beat. It was lots of fun. As a follow-up we listened to our own hearts with a stethescope.

human heart
Posted by: Valerie

A math idea might be for you to go online and research the weight of the heart, the amount of blood the heart pumps in one minute. Then have the student measure out the same weight in red (food color added) sugar. Have them pour it into a zipp-lock bag. This will give them a visual of the weight of the heart. The same idea for the blood in the body. Measure a liquid like red kool-aid.
For language have the student match the name cards to the corresponding part of the human heart.

Hope this helps.