Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Busy Pump

Diane Schmidt
Florida DOE


Students demonstrate how the human heart works with a written summary and labeled illustrations.


The student understands how body systems interact (for example, how bones and muscles work together for movement).


-Computer with Internet connection
-Projector, if available (optional)
-Colored pencils
-Website (See Weblinks)
-Heart Diagram (See Associated File)


1. Work through the listed Website to become familiar with the material and how it is set up.
2. Since this is an active Website, you may consider downloading it to a file in case there are problems on the designated lesson day. Contact your technology specialist for assistance if needed.
3. Gather materials. This is an individual project so materials are needed for each student.
4. Print a Heart Diagram for each student. (See Associated File)


Note: This lesson only addresses the heart and its blood flow.

1. Ask students how many of them know what makes their heart work.

2. Set Website on computer. If a projector is available use it to make the screen more visible to all students. Check with your technology specialist for assistance. You may need to view this Website in small groups of half the class at a time based on class size.

3. Move to the Website listed.

4. Using this Website, move through the frames on the heart. This site is set up like a PowerPoint presentation. Allow students to use the markers, etc. to take notes in a diagram form as you move through the PowerPoint.

5. Ask students why they do not need to remember to breathe and to make their hearts beat. Ask why they do not have to really think about making either thing happen.

6. Review with students the flow of blood through the heart. Ask students why they think they need clean, oxygen-rich blood to keep their bodies going. Allow students to amend their notes and compare with others.

7. Once you have completed the Website, have students label a diagram of the heart and its blood flow. Allow students to interact with one another for discussion and assistance.

8. Students also need to answer this question: You are scientists asked to give a summary on how the heart works. Think about how the heart pumps clean, oxygenated-blood in and out. Write a summary of how the heart moves the blood. Students may use their notes to label the diagram and write the summary.


This lesson only addresses the heart and its blood flow. Assessment is as follows:

1. Formatively assess students individually as they interact and discuss the information with each other.
2. The Heart Diagram is a pass/fail item.
3. Assess the student's writing to see if he/she correctly summarized the blood flow through the heart.

Note: Students who cannot summarize how the blood is pumped or who cannot complete the diagram need feedback and additional instruction.


1. Contact the American Heart Association and request a speaker. Also ask if they can connect you to a Happy Hearts group who are heart attack survivors, heart transplant recipients and bypass patients who love to share their stories.
2. Contact a local cardiologist and ask if he/she would be willing to come in and speak.
3. Contact the local teaching hospital and see in there is a medical student who would be willing to come in and dissect a heart (generally a cow's heart). (You can also do this on your own.)

Web Links

Web supplement for A Busy Pump
The Heart

Web supplement for A Busy Pump
ISTE NETS Standards

Attached Files

A colored heart for students to use to show the bloodflow.     File Extension: pdf

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