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Model the Respiratory System

Subject Science and Technology

Topic of lesson: Inhalation & Exhalation
area: (The Living World)
Grade level: Grade 9 (sec. 3) Unit: Respiratory system
Systems of the body and Essential How does volume and pressure
Big idea:
their functions questions: affect the respiratory system?
Explanation and
Humans require the intake of
oxygen and must eliminate the
The purpose of the lab
carbon dioxide by-product
activity is to provide the
produced during cellular respiration
students with a model of
Understandings: Relevance: in order to survive. Our respiratory
the respiratory movements
movements are responsible for the
and demonstrate the
changes in volume and pressure.
effects of volume and
Without a pressure gradient, we
pressure on inhalation and
would be unable to breathe!
Resources required:
Learning activities: 9 cups, 18 straws, 27 elastic
bands, 9 large balloons, 18 small
Introduction (5-10 min) balloons, adhesive putty
I will begin the class by taking a deep breathe in and exhaling QEP subject area competencies
dramatically and ask the students: What is happening inside of Competency 1: Seeks answers or
my body that allows me to breathe in and out? I will ask students solutions to scientific or
to respond and we will piece together a model that describes the technological problems
respiratory movements that are responsible for inhalation and Learning objectives (POL):
exhalation. The students will explain the role of
the respiratory movements, with
Development (45 min) respect to volume and pressure.
The purpose of the lab activity will be explained as follows: The students will name the main
The purpose of the lab activity is to provide the students parts of the respiratory system, as
with a model of the respiratory movements and well as explain the role of the
demonstrate the effects of volume and pressure on respiratory system (gaseous
inhalation and exhalation. exchanges between the blood and
the surrounding air).
The lab procedure will be explained and the students will be Cross curricular competencies:
grouped into pairs for the activity: Competency 2: Solves
1. Put the straw into the neck of the small balloon
Competency 8: Cooperates
Keep it in place using an elastic band (Figure a)
with others
Test if you have an airtight seal by blowing air
Competency 9: Communicates
into the balloon through the straw
Broad areas of learning:
2. Push the open end of the straw through the hole in the Health and well-being: The
plastic cup until the small balloon is inside the cup students will gain a better
Use putty to seal the hole around the straw understanding of the human body
(Figure b) and of the interdependence of its
different systems. The knowledge
acquired will encourage the
3. Cut the large balloon at the open end and stretch it to students to make healthy lifestyle
cover the top of the plastic cup choices, as well as allow them to
Hold it in place with an elastic band (Figure c) better understand their bodies.
Be careful not to break the cup!
Differentiated instruction:
The students will discuss and complete the analysis question in Throughout the lesson the students
their groups, however they must each submit a lab report. will be instructed through at least
two mediums. For example, the lab
Conclusion (5-10 min) activity instructions will be
The lab will be briefly discussed: accompanied by a worksheet, as
What happened when you pulled down on the outer well as a PowerPoint. In addition,
balloon? the students may discuss the
What happens to the inner balloon when you release the analysis questions in pairs. The
outer balloon? building of the respiratory system
and analysis questions will provide
Extension the students with a better
If any of the students finish early, they may watch the following understanding of the respiratory
YouTube video on their Chromebooks, which provides an movements. In order to pair
overview of the respiratory system and good visual explanations, students effectively, I will pair
which highlight what occurs in our bodies during inhalation and students who find the concept
exhalation. challenging to grasp with those
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5x19lwPnbo who seem to understand.

The students also have the option of completing the respiratory Formative assessment:
system review package. The analysis questions will allow
me to assess the students
Teaching skill understanding of the material and
I will work on circulating the classroom in order to monitor the provide the students with the
progress of each group, as well as to help guide the students opportunity to reflect on the topic,
through the lab. I will aim to pose guiding questions to the specifically the inverse relationship
students to help them solve or work through their between volume and pressure. The
misunderstandings. students work will be submitted.


Overall, I feel like the lesson went very well! It was a bit challenging at times to think of good questions to
ask the students that would help them to answer their own questions. I also realized that it took much
more time to help guide the students to the solution through questioning compared to giving them the
answers. However it was much more rewarding for the students to be able to answer their own questions
and understand the concept.