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Strategy: Analogy

Learning area: Respiration

Learning objective: Understanding the respiratory process in energy
Learning outcome: A student is able to explain the process of anaerobic
respiration in human muscles.
A student is able to compare and contrast aerobic and
anaerobic respiration.
(Note: This activity focuses on comparing and not contrasting)
1. Raise one arm above your head.
2. Now clench and unclench both hands as hard and fast as you can, for as
long as you can bear it (Try to clench 50 times with the teacher counting)
3. Which arm tires first?
4. What is the reason that makes the raised arm tired earlier?
5. Rest both arms on the table. Can you feel blood flowing down your arms?
Answer to Step 3:
This burst activity should result in the raised arm feeling tired first.
This is because blood flows lesser in the raised arm which causes a decreased
supply of oxygen. The muscles will experience anaerobic respiration.
Answer to Step 4:
Blood flows greater in the other arm (the blood is flowing downhill). This means
a greater supply of oxygen and muscle cells can respire aerobically for a longer
time. Anaerobic respiration that leads to muscle fatigue is due to the
accumulation of lactic acid.
Answer to Step 5
If you rest both arms on the table after this exercise, you will be able to feel the
blood flowing through the arms, flushing out the accumulated lactic acid.
A build-up of lactic acid can cause cramp and this situation can be alleviated by
deep breathing. Deep breathing enables enough oxygen to break down lactic
acid into carbon dioxide and water. The supply of oxygen required to remove
lactic acid is called the oxygen debt.