This is American Heart Month and it is a great time to explore the circulatory system. This project is designed to explore the human heart for kids.
The heart is a pump that creates enough force to push blood all the way through the body.
Learn more about the blood flow through the heart.
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Listen to your heart
In this activity, kids are getting a chance to listen to each other’s heartbeats.
I love doing this with students of all ages. I’ve done it with preschoolers to college. You could do this and leave it or let the kids explore to their heart’s content (pun intended).
- Take a paper towel tube and a stopwatch.
- Have kids listen to each other’s heartbeats.
- Now have them jump up and down, run in place, jump on the trampoline, or climb the stairs for a minute.
- Listen to each other’s heartbeats again.
- Ask these questions: What happened? and Why?
The heartbeat sped up because the body’s needs increased when we moved. The demand for oxygen and nutrients increased while the need to remove waste (including carbon dioxide) also increased. The heart pumps the things we need around our bodies and helps deliver it all over. As we need more things (like energy) our heart has to increase the speed of contractions (the heartbeat) to meet those needs.
Simple and Fun.
What skills have you worked on?
Science skills of observation, communication, measurement, inference and predicting (remember inference and prediction are also basic reading strategies).
You could extend this activity in lots of ways, here are some examples:
- Have the students count the heartbeats and see how long after exercise it takes for students to return to normal.
- Have the students count the number of breaths before and after exercise.
- Make a model of a heart.
- Read a book.