Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Message From Your Heart

Cathy Burgess
Bay District Schools


Students learn about the importance of the heart and show what they know about positive health behaviors that enhance wellness by completing a KWL chart. This is the first lesson, first day in the Happy, Healthy Me unit.


The student understands positive health behaviors that enhance wellness.


-Round balloons
-Bicycle pump
-Heartbeats cassette, [Heart Power], American Heart Association, 1996
-Poster of circulatory system and heart if available
-Picture of circulatory system (see Weblinks)
-Picture of the heart (see Weblinks)
-"Everybody Needs A Heart," Heart Power, AHA, 1996 (written on chart paper)
-"Easy as 1, 2, 3," [Heart Power], AHA, 1996 (written on chart paper)
-Students' KWL charts (see Associated File)
-Chart paper
-Large construction paper 11 x 13
-Copies of song for each student


1. Gather materials: chart paper, markers, cassette, bicycle pump, balloons, poster of heart and circulatory system.
2. Staple 2 pieces of construction paper together for portfolios. Staple around 3 sides leaving the long top part open to slip in student’s work.
3. Write poems and songs on chart paper.
4. Put KWL on chart paper
5. Print out and run off attached files
6. Duplicate song and poem "Everybody Needs A Heart" and "Easy As 1, 2, 3." Make one copy per child.


This is the first lesson, first day, in the Happy, Healthy Me unit.

1. Ask students: Who knows where your heart is? (Have students place their right hands on their chests, slightly left of the center.) Ask students: What do you feel? (Children may say they feel a thump.) What is making that thump? (The heart)

2. Tell students: Now that you know where your heart is, let’s see what we know about keeping your heart and body well. At this time have students take the Diagnostic Assessment for the unit. Refer to the Assessment Instructions on the Unit Plan for instructions on administering the Diagnostic. (See Extensions)

3. Tell students: Think back to what I said earlier about the heart. Where is it? (Remind them that they said they felt a thump) That thump is the heart pumping blood. When it contracts, or gets harder, it makes a beat. When the heart relaxes, or gets softer; it is between beats. (Play the heartbeat sounds on the audiocassette. Allow students time to hear the heart beat.) Then, show the students the bicycle pump and the balloon to demonstrate how a pump works. Push the pump handle several times and have the students feel the air coming out of the pump. Connect the balloon to the pump. Ask students: What is happening to the balloon? Explain that when the pump handle is raised, the inside of the pump fills with air. When the pump handle is lowered, the air is pushed out of the pump into the balloon. Point out that the heart works in the same way. When it relaxes, it fills with blood. When it contracts, it pushes blood out. It works all the time and beats faster after exercise.

4. Draw a large figure 8 on the chalkboard. Put an X in the middle where the lines cross each other. Show them how to trace the figure 8. Ask: Where did you start tracing the figure 8? (At the X) Where did you finish tracing? (At the X) Tell them that the heart is like the X on the figure 8. Trace the figure 8 again while explaining that the blood goes from the heart to the lungs, back to the heart, from the heart to the body, and back to the heart. Explain that the heart, lungs, and blood vessels are the main parts of the circulatory system and that the heart is the pump that pushes the blood through the system. Show the poster, if available, or downloaded pictures.

5. Explain that the blood follows a certain route each time it returns to the heart. Tell students: Think of it like a train. A train picks up and delivers goods as it goes round and round its track; the blood picks up and delivers oxygen and nutrients to the body in the same way. Students can see how important it is to keep the heart well. They need to practice positive health behaviors to enhance the wellness of their hearts and bodies. Now is a good time to teach students the poem, "Easy as 1, 2, 3." Repeat it several times and do the motions.

6. Introduce the students to this song, "Everybody Needs a Heart" (written on chart paper.) Sing to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush." Ask students to sing the song with you while you point to the words. Sing it together several times. Ask them to think about the words to the song, as you will be asking them questions tomorrow as you begin the new lesson. The teacher should formatively assess the students as they learn the song to make sure they have an understanding of positive behaviors that enhance wellness.

An example of positive feedback is: “I like the way you are learning the words. Wow, I can tell you are putting your heart into this song. That means you are learning about healthy habits.”

7. Hand out construction paper portfolios. Students will keep all the work they do for this unit in them. They are to write the title, Happy, Healthy Me on the front cover along with their names. They are to illustrate the covers with a picture of themselves. Their faces should be made out of a heart shape.

8. Hand out the song, "Everybody Needs a Heart" and poem, "Easy as 1, 2, 3." If there is available time, students can illustrate. These also go into the portfolio.


Diagnostically assess the students' understanding of positive health behaviors that enhance wellness as they affect the heart and body by assessing students' answers in the KWL chart. Then, students are formatively assessed as they sing the song. Ensure that all students are learning the song appropriately so they can begin understanding positive health behaviors that enhance wellness. Correct misconceptions as they occur. Examples of feedback are provided in #6 in procedures.


1. Stethoscopes can be placed at the science center for students to hear their own heart beats.

2. Heartbeats cassette can be placed at the listening center. See materials list for tape.

3. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Web Links

These websites are for the teacher to get more information and pictures of the heart.
Circulation System

Web supplement for A Message From Your Heart
PBS Map of the heart

Attached Files

Attached are the copies of the song and poem.     File Size: 23552 bytes (0.023 mb)      File Extension: pdf

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