Circulatory System

Prior Knowledge: Students should have a basic understanding of the structure and function of the respiratory system. Students must also have a basic understanding of structures and functions of body systems. Students must also have a basic understanding of the structures of the circulatory system and how to take a pulse.

Lesson Objective: By the end of today’s class, SWBAT describe the basic function of the circulatory system

Basic Description of Assignment: This lesson is designed to allow the students to understand how all of the systems start to come together to keep the entire body working properly. In this assignments, students will be actively moving around to see how the body uses the the circulatory system to transport important materials such as oxygen throughout the body. As the students run around, they will see the relationship between heartrate and oxygen use.


– timer


Step 1: Student performs jumping jacks for 60 seconds

Step 2: Student stops, takes pulse and records time and pulse

Step 3: repeat steps 1 -2 for 10 minutes (10 trials)

Step 4: ask student to note the change in breathing as the time continued

Step 5: ask student what they noticed about the time of exercise and the pulse rate

Step 6: ask student why they think that your heart rate increased as your breathing increased?

Step 7: ask student what they think your heart measures? What does your heart do? What is the function of the circulatory system?

Reasoning behind Lesson:

This lesson plan is designed to place more meaning to the functions of the body systems, particularly the circulatory and respiratory system. Most students understand the concept that we need air to breathe and blood, but they don’t necessary understand the context to which they are related and play a significant role in our body. The circulatory system is an important system that delivers nutrients and oxygen to the rest of our body.

This lesson is a very active lesson that allows the students to not only practice science concepts, but to also practice taking data. This students will see the correlation between heart rate and breathing and logically conclude that one uses the other. This requires critical thinking skills which is not always emphasized in the sciences. While it is important to know vocabulary words and facts, it is also important to see these concept applied in a greater context. This lesson sets students up to be able to make this own conclusions and applied logic behind it.



This lesson is a physically intensive lesson that requires students to be able to not only calculate their heartrates, but also to understand what it means to have a heartrate. It may be difficult for some students to understand how to calculate and take a pulse, so be sure to remember to either help students to calculate it by showing a formula or having the students just describe the differences in pacing from beginning – middle – end of the activity. It is also a difficult concept for students who have not grasped the idea that you take in oxygen and oxygen travels in the blood via the circulatory system to the different parts of the body. This lesson was not designed to explain what the oxygen does to the different parts of body, but as a relationship between the circulatory and respiratory system.

For students who understand this concept, this activity is a great way to encourage students to practice graphing their data and observing trends based on the data. My students struggle with bringing concepts from other classes together, so bringing in math concepts such as graphing to the science classroom, will help your student to create some uniformity and cohesion with the other classes. In addition your student can also calculate the average of his/her heartrates and compare it to the other students in the classroom. Another great extension is to ask the student to relate what they know about muscles to the importance of exercising your heart. Drawing connections and creating a big picture for you student is critical to understanding this entire unit.


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