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The Heart & Your Health Module

In the Heart & Your Health module we introduce students to the basic anatomy and function of the mammalian heart, and the circulatory system. The high point of the lesson is the opportunity to handle a preserved cow heart.

Students will learn the terms for the four chambers of the heart – the left and right atrium, and the left and right ventricle – and the pathway the blood takes through them. They are asked to identify the chambers in their cow heart. They learn that arteries are tubes which carry bright red oxygenated blood away from the heart, and veins are the tubes which carry dark red oxygenated blood back to the heart.

When time allows, we discuss diseases of the heart, as well as the role of diet in controlling heart disease, including strokes and heart-attacks. Stethoscopes are provided for the students to listen to their own hearts. Students also try to take their own pulse, to feel how fast the heart is pumping blood. If there is time, we demonstrate and explain the taking of blood pressure, and what it tells a nurse or doctor when they measure it.

Four students exploring one cow heart
The WOW Factor
Students Playing the Heart Game
Taking Blood Pressure – If Time Allows
Grade Level: 7th grade

Where Taught: Classroom

# Students: Maximum of 30 students per presentation

Time needed for presentation: 45 minutes (heart only), 60 minutes (heart and blood pressure). We will need 5-10 minutes to prepare for the next session.

Georgia Performance Standards:
S7L2 Students will describe the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems.
a. Explain that cells are organized into tissues, tissues into organs, organs into systems, and systems into organisms.
b. Explain that tissues, organs, and organ systems serve the needs cells have for oxygen, food, and waste removal.
c. Explain the role of the major organ systems in the human body.