res·pi·ra·tion (r s p -r sh n). n. 1. a. The act or process of inhaling and exhaling
This week students have been simulating this process with the use of PE equipment. The equipment represents different parts of the process and the students have the opportunity to become a specific part of the process.
Students are broken into groups of 3. One student begins at a cone (lungs). They sit on a scooter (red blood cell) and pretend to be an oxygen. The other two students in the group are at the mat (muscle). One partner is doing sit ups, replicating a muscle working, the other partner is holding their feet, the oxygen needed to perform the task. The red blood cell arrives with the oxygen and a simple rotation occurs within the muscle. The oxygen becomes the foot holder, the previous foot holder becomes the working muscle and the working muscle is now carbon dioxide on the scooter returning to the lungs. Once at the lungs we talk about exhaling. The student does 5 jumping jacks and then sets out back to the working muscle.
The first 3-5 minutes we are simulating a muscle working as the body is taking a walk in the park, level 2 intensity. The students all agree that it was easy to do keep complete the activity and the oxygen was able to keep up with the muscles demands.
The next 5-8 minutes we simulate a muscle working as the body is jogging in the park, level 3 intensity. The muscle is doing the sit ups faster and the oxygen and carbon dioxide are expected to also work faster, as the heart is beating faster and the oxygen demand is higher. Students informed me it was much more difficult to keep up with the muscles demands but they could do it.
The last 8-10 minutes we simulated a muscle working as the body was doing the PACER test during PE, level 4 intensity. The muscle now had to do a plank hold, while the foot holder had to do high knees jog in place. The oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange had to do 15 jumping jacks now, creating a longer time between exchanges at the muscle. ALL students said keeping up with the oxygen demand at the muscle was extremely difficult. You could actually hear the muscles calling out to their peers, “HURRY, HURRY”!!
We discussed each scenario and how what they experienced was what the muscle experiences at each intensity level. It was fun to watch them grasp that they were re-enacting what was actually happening in their own bodies at the very moment we were discussing it!
WHAT A FABULOUS MOMENT!!
CHECK OUT THE PICTURES!!!
Oxygen traveling in the blood
Oxygen arriving at the working muscle
The exchange within the muscle- oxygen and carbon dioxide
The carbon dioxide traveling back to the lungs
The carbon dioxide has been exhaled and the oxygen is beginning the return from the lungs to the muscle