The Lungs

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Students will learn the function of the lungs by watching a video and making a labeled model of the lungs.

Big Idea

The lungs are an essential organ in the body that we need in order to breathe.


15 minutes

Students are asked to sit of the meeting place rug to learn about a new part of the human body.  As we begin the lesson, we first review our K-W-L chart.  We read through what we have learned and we fill in any gaps that we may have missed. It is important to go over the chart in each lesson to review what we have learned and to give the students a chance to remember what questions we have added.  That way, as we are moving through our lesson, they will be able to relate any new information to those questions when it come up.

Then, I tell students that we are going to learn about another very important organ in our body, the lungs.  I ask the students, "Does anyone know what our lungs are for?"  I wait and listen to student responses.

There are typically a few students that will know that the lungs are for breathing.  If that is the case, I will acknowledge that answer and I will tell them that "the lungs are for breathing and we will learn just how breathing works inside of our body."

After I listen to what students know about the lungs, I record anything that might be relevant to the K-W-L chart.

Arizona Science Standards
Concept 1: Characteristics of Organisms

Understand that basic structures in plants and animals serve a function.

PO2: Name the body Parts







Guided Practice - whole group

15 minutes

I ask students to quietly go back to their seats so that we can watch a video about the lungs.  I chose this video because it does a great job of explaining the process of breathing with a fantastic visual.  During the video, the narrator is labeling the parts of the respiratory system.

As the video plays, I will stop at various times to check for understanding and to engage the students in conversation and questions.  This keeps the students interested for the entirety of the video. 

I simplify some of the vocabulary for the students as needed.

Also during the video, I have stop and have the students inhale and exhale while I explain to them that the air they breathe in is called oxygen and the air breathed out is called carbon dioxide.

As they breathe in, I have them watch each others chest as it moves.

Having students do this breathing exercise takes what they are learning from the video and putting it in practice to connect the learning to real life.  It shows students that while breathing is something we do naturally and do not really think about, it is an essential function to the human body.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

After the video is over, I ask the students to go back to their seats so that we can make a paper model of the lungs.

I have the students to do this activity to connect what they just watched and heard on the video to their own learning.  This activity is used to be a reflection of what they just learned as well as a formative assessment for myself to be able to see who was able to understand the information.

I pass out the paper drawing of the lungs.  The students write their names on them and then they follow along with me as I help and model for them how to label and color the picture.

As we move through this activity, I call on students to help me with the names of the parts and the functions of those parts.  When calling on students for an activity such as this, I try to call on those students that I am not as sure will know the answers.  I also call on students who may need a little more support with speaking skills. 

This helps those students have more opportunities to speak and I can guide them in using science vocabulary in complete sentences.

Making the paper drawing brings together what they learned from the video to their own learning.  When writing the parts down, students are more likely to remember them.


10 minutes

As student's are finishing their lung model in their journals, I walk around to ask some clarifying quesitons.

"What do the lungs do?"

"What is the air called that we breathe in?"

"What is the air called that we breathe out?"

We revisit the K-W-L chart and add any learned information to our chart.  I will choose students to help me with what to add based on who I think I need to check for understanding.