Gas exchange systems
This resource lists provides ideas for teaching about gas exchange, with good oportunity to link up with the PE department. From 2014, students should learn about:
• the structure and functions of the gas exchange system in humans, including adaptations to function
• the mechanism of breathing to move air in and out of the lungs, using a pressure model to explain the movement of gases, including simple measurements of lung volume
Visit the secondary science webpage to access all lists: www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/secondaryscience
Links and Resources
This resource consists of four experiments about breathing and lung function. Students use lung volume bags, peak flow meters and pulse oximeters to explore lung function and to find out how different activities affect their breathing.
The experiments can be carried out in the classroom but there is an opportunity for collaboration with the PE department.
Experiment A: Students measure their resting breathing rate and investigate how different types of physical activity affect their breathing rate.
Experiment B: Students measure their blood oxygen level and pulse rate before and after exercise and see how long they take to return to resting level.
Experiment C: Students make a prediction about how peak flow may change with height.
Experiment D: Students measure their lung volumes and their expiratory tidal volumes before and after exercise to see if there is any change.
This resource may need a little updating, but there' are some useful questions and activities. On page 6 is a quick literacy activity to help students consider the difference between respiration and breathing. Adaptations and function are also considered.
The use of peak flow meters in the classroom is also described. Peak flow is a measure of the maximum air flow achieved during a forced expiration, and is measured in litres/second or litres/minute.
There is quite an amusing, and messy, way of modelling the journey of food through the digestive system.
On page 8 of this resource there is a useful piece of text which students use to label the diagram of the lungs on the next page. This is useful as a starter or plenary, or would make a useful homework task.