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Grade Range
4th
Group Size
2-4 students
Active Time
50 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes
Area of Science
Human Biology & Health
Key Concepts
Heart disease, Circulatory system, Atherosclerosis, Blood flow
Learning Objectives
  • Explain why our circulatory system (including the arteries and blood) is essential for our survival
  • Describe the cause and effect of obstructed blood flow through plaque buildup in the arteries
  • Assess flow rates of liquids using a blood flow model
blood flow both cups full

Overview

Why is it important to eat healthy and exercise? In this hands-on lesson plan, students will build a simple model to explore the effects of plaque buildup in arteries. The model allows them to demonstrate what happens to blood flow when heart disease narrows a person's arteries.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Asking Questions and Defining Problems. Ask questions about what would happen if a variable was changed.

Developing and Using Models. Develop and/or use models to describe and/or predict phenomena.

Use a model to test cause and effect relationships or interactions concerning the functioning of a natural or designed system.

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. Make predictions about what would happen if a variable changed.

Engaging in Argument from Evidence. Use data to evaluate claims about cause and effect.
LS1.A: Structure and Function. Plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction.
Cause and Effect. Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.

System and System Models. A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions.

Credits

Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies

Materials


modeling blood flow materials lesson plan

Materials for teacher preparation:

  • Scissors (1)
  • Water (enough to fill 2 cups per group)
  • Measuring cup
  • Pitcher or container for storing the water, or access to a sink
  • Masking tape or permanent marker
  • Optional: red food coloring

Materials per group of 2–4 students:

  • Plastic cups, 16 oz. (3)
  • Two straws with different diameters (a 2-inch piece of each)
  • Modeling clay
  • Stopwatch
  • Aluminum tray (big enough to fit 500 mL of water)

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Grade Range
4th
Group Size
2-4 students
Active Time
50 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes
Area of Science
Human Biology & Health
Key Concepts
Heart disease, Circulatory system, Atherosclerosis, Blood flow
Learning Objectives
  • Explain why our circulatory system (including the arteries and blood) is essential for our survival
  • Describe the cause and effect of obstructed blood flow through plaque buildup in the arteries
  • Assess flow rates of liquids using a blood flow model

Class Materials