Our Lungs: Day 1

This week, we are looking at our lungs.

Sid the Science Kid, helped us navigate the workings of our respiratory system in this fun video.

My kids LOVE Sid the Science Kid, so any time I can use him in Science class, I’m on it!

We looked at a simple diagram that I had colored, (trying to make it as interesting as possible for the little ones), and briefly talked about the function of our lungs. As I began to lose all of them, (because lecturing, though sometimes necessary, never fails to create bored and antsy monsters,) we quickly switched gears to our experiment of the day! Daddy was around today so he helped us with this, which was very exciting for everyone!

Overview: The students will learn more about the structure of the lungs and experiment to measure the amount of air their lungs can hold.


bubble solution (or dish soap)

drinking straw for each child

ruler for each child

large soft sponge

large clear container of water

tray or sheet of waxed paper for each child.


Talk about the rib cage (protects the lungs), lungs, diaphragm (the muscle that the lungs use to take air in and push it out again) and the parts of the airway (mouth, nose, trachea).

Show the students the sponge and explain that lungs look a lot like a sponge. A sponge has a lot of little holes in it that hold water when it gets wet, like little water sacs. Our lungs also have little sacs, not holes, that hold air. Pass the sponge around to feel how light it is. Place the sponge in the water and watch how it floats until the water gets into the tiny water sacs and then it begins to sink as it fills up. When you lift the sponge from the water, it is heavy. When you  squeeze it, all of the water drains out of the water sacs and the sponge is light again. Our lungs work the same way, when we take a deep breath, our ribs spread out and our chest gets big so that our lungs can fill up with air. When we breathe out, our ribs come back together and our diaphragm squeezes all of the air from our lungs.

Our lungs grow as we grow. So babies have teeny lungs and their lungs can not hold much air. Adults have big lungs that can hold lots of air. Let’s see how much air our lungs can hold!

1. Pour about a tablespoon of bubble solution onto a tray and spread it all around so the whole surface of the tray is covered.

2. Dip one end of the straw into the solution, take a deep breath and blow a bubble through it. Measure your bubble and write down the number. Repeat this three times for each child.

3. Take the biggest measurement for each child and create a graph. This will allow everyone to see how much air their lungs can hold. (The biggest bubble should belong to the biggest person and the smallest to the smallest person). The bigger we grow, the larger our lungs become!


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