Heart Health Lesson Plans for Kids

Path of Blood

Students will outline a body on paper, add in the heart and lungs, and will follow the path of a blood cell as it travels around the body.

Objectives: Students will know that blood travels in blood vessels around the body and transports materials. They will also learn that some blood vessels have blood with oxygen while others carry unoxygenated blood.

Materials: White roll of paper or newspapers, markers, picture of heart and lungs, small toy trucks or bottle caps

Several ways to make a body: draw by free hand and laminate (like I did), have kids trace one another on the floor, or shine a bright light on the piece of butcher paper hanging on the wall for someone to trace a silhouette.
I teach the same lesson for 38 different classes each month, so I tent to laminate everything to reuse. Here are my laminated heart and lungs, and a couple of Bingo chips that I used for blood cells. One side of the chip has a red sticker to signify that it's a blood cell carrying oxygen.

Procedure: Separate the students into groups of 4 or 5 per body. Discuss what the heart looks like (many kids, even older ones, think your heart resembles the pretty ones on Valentines Day cards....they're shocked to see a real picture!), its function, separate chambers, etc. Make sure that the heart and lungs are in the right place and that each group has a toy truck, Bingo chip, bottle cap, etc as their blood cell. The blood cell should be blue on one side and red on the other.

As you read the Path of Blood, the students should move the blood cell around where you direct it to go. After they move their blood cell around once, have them travel the path a second time- this time use red and blue markers to show where their blood cell travel.


The red line represents the blood cell carrying oxygen....
....and the blue line represents the blood cell's path after it gives most of its oxygen away.
Finally, discuss that not all blood cells travel the ENTIRE body. Some just go the brain and back, some go to the knee and back, etc. When they see illustrations in the science book about the circulatory system with blue and red lines, it doesn't mean that your blood vessels are blue on half of your body and red on the other side- it just shows which ones are carrying oxygenated blood.