Exploring lungs in Year 4

Today we found out how the lungs work. We looked at some lambs lungs with Year 3. We had to put on aprons and gloves and we worked in groups.

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To see how the lungs inflate we used a balloon pump to blow air into the lungs. We put the balloon pump into the trachea and we saw the lungs inflate with air. We were surprised how big the lungs were when they were inflated and how small they went when they were deflated.

One group could clearly see the one of the bronchioles and it looked like a tree. We cut the lungs open and we could see the tubes that lead to the air sacs (alveoli). Another group was able to put their stick through the trachea and found their way into the lungs.

The lungs felt wet, slimy, cold, squishy, and spongy. The trachea felt harder than the lungs and they felt bumpy. On the back of the lungs we could see the tissue that would connect the lungs to other organs.

We all joined in exploring the lungs and here is what we thought:

I thought exploring the lungs was disgusting but okay.

I thought it was weird but awesome because we can see what lungs actually look like.  It was amazing to see how our lungs work hard every day.

It was inspiring to see how the lungs would work. I thought the lungs would be small but today I found out that the lungs were really big to pump a lot of oxygen around your body. I learnt today that our lungs need a lot of oxygen from the air.

It was interesting feeling the lungs because it felt smooth in some places and bumpy in other parts.

It was interesting looking at what’s inside us. I liked it when I put the stick through the trachea into the lungs.

It was interesting how squishy our lungs are.

It was interesting when you blow the lungs up, they change colour. It is satisfying to see how your lungs breathe.

It was amazing to see how our lungs would work.

It was interesting because I saw the holes in the lungs.

It was strange that only one of the lungs inflated.

The bronchioles looked a bit weird but I am a bit squeamish.

I enjoyed touching the lungs because they felt funny and squishy.

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Our lung capacity investigation in Year 4

As we are learning about the human body, we completed an investigation to see if we could measure our lung capacity. We also investigated if physical activity could change our lung capacity.

We began by blowing into a balloon with just one exhale of breath. We measured the balloon with a partner and repeated this. We used this information to work out the volume of air that our lungs can hold.

We then repeated this activity of exhaling a breath into a balloon and measuring but first we had to run on the spot for 30 seconds. We did this 3 times and then we were exhausted!

We found that our lungs could hold more air when we were relaxed compared to after we had completed physical activity. We decided this was because when we are relaxed we can breathe in longer, bigger breaths. When we have done physical activity our lungs take in smaller breaths so that they can quickly get enough air into our bodies to send oxygen to our muscles where it’s needed.

We used this investigation as an opportunity to develop how we predict and interpret our results – we all made predictions about when our lungs could hold more air and even though we weren’t all right, we learnt that it’s ok to not be right when we predict as long as we learn something from our results.

We have really enjoyed the opportunity to explore so many different areas of science thanks to our topic and Science Week!