Respiratory System

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Learning Intention: Science Understanding – “Cells are the basic units of living things and have specialised structures and functions. Multi-cellular organisms contain systems of organs that carry out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce.”

Success Criteria:  Students will be able to identify the organs within the respiratory system and describe how it functions. They will understand how the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems are connected and work together to deliver nutrients and oxygen and remove wastes from every cell within the human body.

So far we have learned about nutrition and the digestive system and how the circulatory system transports materials around the human body. Now we are going to investigate the respiratory system, which provides oxygen to every cell, to allow energy to be released from food. The respiratory system consists of the trachea, bronchus and lungs containing alveloi. There is an important muscle, called the diaphragm, that allows air to be drawn into the lungs and the carbon-dioxide-rich air to be expelled. Access the following sites and then answer the questions below:

  1. Label the diagram of the respiratory system, including the alveoli.
  2. What are the advantages of breathing through your nose?
  3. Why should you blow your nose when you have a cold, rather than sniffing?
  4. What is the function of the epiglottis and happens when you choke?
  5. Where do the respiratory and circulatory systems meet?
  6. Both systems have a large surface area – explain why.
  7. Breathing and respiration have different meanings – explain each.
  8. Both your breathing and heart rate increase during exercise – explain why.
  9. How do high altitudes affect your breathing and circulation? Why might athletes do high altitude training?

Year 7 – Skin, Bone, Muscle and Nerves


Your body consists of different systems that work together to provide nutrients, remove wastes, allow you to move, grow and reproduce. This term we will be studying the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems as well as the skin. These systems consist of organs, which are made up of tissues, which are comprised of cells.

The “Cell Theory” states that:
“Cells” are the smallest unit of life.
All living organisms are composed of cells and their products
All cells arise from pre-exisiting cells.

These cells are made up of organelles (nuclei, mitochondria, chloroplasts, golgi complexes, ribosmoes etc.). Organelles are made up of compounds (molecules) which consist of atoms. Atoms are known as the smallest indivisible particles.

So skin is made up of specific types of cells, different to muscle cells, bone cells and nerve cells. These different types of cells are different sizes and shapes and contain different nunmbers of organelles (a red blood cell has no nucleus for example) because they perform different functions within the body. Draw up a table in your workbook (or on your netbook) with the four different systems and describe their structure (what they look like) and function (how they work). Draw an example of the four different cell types in these systems. Use your textbook and research using the internet to complete your table.

Your first experiment will be about the nervous system – “How Quickly can you Respond to a Stimulus?”. Draw up the table in your books (or your netbook) and record your results from the experiment described on page 285. Compare your average in your writing hand with your non-writing hand. Then use your mobile phone to send a text message or play a game on your ipod while doing the same test.
What do you notice about the results?
What does this suggest to you about using a phone or ipod while driving?
Then try the same type of test at “The Online Reaction Time Test” page. See if you can beat my average reaction time of 0.273 seconds! Let me know in the comments section what your average reaction time for each experiment was.

Year 8 Science: Human Body Systems

arteries and qr code
Each student chooses an organ from either the circulatory, respiratory, digestive or excretory system. They write a web page on a wiki, describing the structure and function of that organ, including labelled diagrams. They write five “I am” statements about the organ and then find out two other organs attached to their organ and link their page to those two pages. They then create a QR code for the answer (heart, arteries, lungs etc) at either of these two sites: QR code or kaywa qr codes with the URL link that directs the reader to their wiki page. The QR code is then attached to the appropriate organ in the human torso model.

For example: “I am an organ in the circulatory system that carries oxygenated blood from the heart. I have thick, muscular walls, no valves and lead to the capillaries.” The QR code scans to produce the link to the wiki page with the answer, “Arteries”, and all the information about that organ. This page would be linked to the heart and capillaries pages.