The human body is composed of different systems that
have specific tasks to complete. The Respiratory System contains
organs, that working together will allow us to breathe. The respiratory
system has lungs, diaphragm, and trachea. However, the heart is
also part of the respiratory as it pumps blood into the lungs to get oxygenated.
It is important to emphasize that we operate as a well-tuned machine, with
most of our parts having more than one function. When one part of
the body fails, it sometimes triggers other organs to fail also.
Below are descriptions that may be useful when the students do their activity.
The lungs are found in the chest and abdomen region. The
main function is to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. The
lungs contain air tubes, tissues, and blood vessels. There are two
lungs that are in an airtight compartment of the chest. This compartment
is surrounded by tissue, thin sheets of muscles and the ribs. When
you inhale, a large, dome shaped muscle under the lungs, the diaphragm,
lowers and the chest expands. This changes the air pressure in the
pleura and causes the lungs to draw in air. Reversing the process
causes you to exhale.
The two kidneys of humans are located behind the abdomen.
The kidneys regulate how much water, sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphate
are in the blood. The kidneys also remove waste products from the
body such as uric acid. Each kidney is filled with capillaries wrapped
around very tiny nephrons which filter the blood.
The liver is about 3.5 pounds and is located in the abdomen.
The main function is to produce digestive juices and enzymes for our body.
The pancreas is about 2.5 ounces and produces a mixture which helps to
neutralize the strong acid from the stomach (a natural “Tums”). It
also contains enzymes that help break down food mixtures so it can easily
be absorbed. The liver produces a salty fluid known as bile which
is stored in the gall bladder. This fluid also enters the small intestine
and is used to digest fats.
The stomach fits under the diaphragm and can hold 1.2 liters
(2.5 pints) of food. Food usually remains for about 2-4 hours in
the stomach on its way through the body. Digestive glands in the
stomach wall release acid that aids in digestion and kills off most harmful
The small intestines extend from the stomach to the large intestines.
In an average adult the small intestine is about 6.4 meters (21 feet) long.
It is coiled and folded to fit into the abdomen. The small intestines
receives digestive juices from the pancreas and liver.
The large intestines help remove food that cannot be digested.
Indigestible parts of the food move from the small to the large intestines.
Some water is recycled back into the blood stream and the remaining waste
travels on to the rectum and out the body through the anus.
The heart is only about 12 ounces and is located on the
left side of the chest. The main function is to pump blood to all parts
of the body. The heart pumps more than five quarts of blood through
the body every minute. The organ is divided into four chambers, two
sending blood to the body and lungs, and two receiving it. The heart
beats about seventy two times each minutes. Each beat has two parts.
During the first, blood from the body and lungs enters the upper chambers
of the heart, then passes through one way valves to the lower chambers.
The next stage allows the blood to go to the body and lungs. The
lub-dub sound of your heart is the sound of the valves opening and closing.
The cerebrum and cerebellum are part of the brain, which is part
of the nervous system. It is located in the head and weighs about
2-3 pounds. The brain interprets and reacts to nerve signals.
The cerebellum controls certain movements and keeps the body balanced.
The cerebrum is divided into two halves covered by a thin layer of millions
of nerve cell bodies. It is responsible for learning, judgment, creativity,
and some parts of your emotions.
- Review the different body systems by using
the human torso. Show students where each organ is located.
The torso should be placed where students can look at it during class.
- Cut the worksheet into pieces. Copy enough
copies so there is enough for your classroom. Put them in a bowl
and have students select one
- Each child is to take the card home or go to the
library and read information on that organ or system. If they have
Internet access have them do a search on their browser. Parent involvement
should be encouraged.
- Instruct students to develop a series of questions for their particular
organ. They should have at least five questions. The first
one should be hard and the last one should be easy. For example: