Kids learn about the heart and circulation in early primary school (at about age 6 or 7) so you can use fun, visual and simple teaching methods. There are a few simple tricks you can use to ensure the kids take in all the information. Since circulation is a fairly broad topic, choose some assignments or homework on top of this lesson so that your students can do their own research at home.
Start with the basics. Have each child to draw his own heart on a piece of paper. Ask your students to write in different coloured pencils all the things they think the heart does. Encourage them to be creative, even if their ideas are not accurate. This will get them thinking, and make them excited to learn more about it.
When all your students have finished drawing, tell them the main role of the heart is to keep us alive by pumping blood all around our bodies. This is called circulation. Then start to explain circulation, always going back to the familiar image of the heart.
Use drawings, diagrams and colouring-in. Give each student a picture of a human with a circulatory system drawn inside the body. Use thick tubes for arteries and thin ones for veins. Tell the students the that the human body is like a road map, and that the arteries are like highways and the veins are like streets.The capillaries are like little alleyways, and the blood vessels are all the different routes the blood can take -- just like a car on the road. Ask your students if they know what colour blood is. Tell them blood has "important stuff" inside it like food, oxygen and even waste.
Keep the terms simple and ask the students plenty of questions. Have them to colour the veins in blue and the arteries in red. Explain that arteries carry blood with oxygen in it away from the heart, and so will be coloured red. Veins carry blood without oxygen in it back to the heart, and so will be coloured blue.
Give your students a homework assignment. Ask them to draw the heart. Explain the four chambers of the heart, but only briefly. Tell the students that for homework they need to go home, research the four chambers and draw a colour diagram of the heart with the functions of each chamber listed. Having students do their own research will help the learning process. The next day review the diagrams and further explain what the four chambers of the heart do.
Use a stethoscope to let each child listen to her own heart. As they do so, explain that in some animals the heart beats very slowly, while in others it beats very quickly. Use a chart to show the different heart rates in the animal kingdom. If you do not have a stethoscope, show your students how to find their pulses (on their necks or wrists) then tell them to count how many beats their heart makes a minute. This will fascinate them, and you'll probably get some kids saying their heart beats 20 times a minute while others will claim their heart beats 200 times a minute.
Design a power point presentation. This is a simple way to explain circulation visually and simply. Present information on separate slides. Use one slide for information about the heart, one for blood and what it contains and another slide for information about blood cells. Open your power point program, and select "New Project." Select "New Slide" for each slide you want to add. Text boxes will appear on each slide and you can double click on them to add text and pictures.
Encourage students to summarise different parts of the slide show to ensure they have understood.
Things you need
- Colour pencils
- Diagrams of circulatory system
- Pictures of the heart
- Power point program
- Heart model