Respiratory System - Ventilation and Breathing

Lesson overview

In this lesson students continue to explore the respiratory system using Google Expeditions. They will identify and name the structures involved and go on to make a model of the lungs, identifying the similarities and differences between the model and real lungs.

Learning outcomes
  • Be able to name the structures involved in ventilation (breathing)
  • Be able to describe the volume and pressure changes in inhalation and exhalation

Expedition Prep Checklist

Download the Google Expeditions App on all devices and select the expedition Respiratory System - Ventilation and Breathing.

Explore the expedition and locate points of interest.

Review the video content in the Lesson resources section to update your knowledge and develop some teaching ideas.

Lesson steps
  1. Introduction (10 mins)
    Lead a discussion around the following questions: How and why does the rib cage move when we breathe in / out? Why does your stomach move in and out as you breathe?
    Students breathe in and out slowly and try to feel what is happening to their ribs and diaphragm.
    1. Place both hands on the sides of the rib cage and breathe in and out slowly.
    2. Place one hand on your stomach around your belly button and feel what happens to your stomach as you breathe in and out slowly.
    Explain the reasons for the movement and state that they will be looking at the diaphragm in more detail during the expedition.
  2. Expedition (20 mins)
    Guide students through the expedition. Ask: Where is the diaphragm? What is the diaphragm made of?
    Students use expedition to answer. Ask students why they think the diaphragm has a hole in the middle (clue: think about the digestive system).
  3. Activity (30 mins)
    Go over answers from expedition discussion questions: Which muscles are responsible for breathing? Why does air move into the lungs during inhalation? Why does air move out of the lungs during exhalation? How does the pressure inside the lungs change during the process of breathing?
    Students complete Ventilation card sort on the Student Sheet, found in the Lesson resources section.
    Students make a model lung from a bottle and balloons. Here is an example from Questacon.
    Students draw a Venn Diagram to summarise the similarities and differences between their lung model and the real human lungs.
  4. Extension
    Students write their own commentary for this ventilation animation without sound by Abassin Fangbemi.
    Students investigate the effect of exercise on breathing rate. They should pay particular attention to how the breathing changes (rate and depth).
    Students research diseases of the respiratory system.
    Students take respiratory system quiz from Biology corner.
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