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20 October 2014
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Keeping healthy - lesson plan

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A girl sat on a chair
  1. To understand that when muscles are doing more work they need more oxygen.
  2. To understand that blood supplies muscles with oxygen.
  3. To understand that to get more blood to the muscles, the heart beats faster and so the heart rate or pulse rate increases.

National Curriculum

Sc2, 2c, 2d.


  • Other resources:
    • Large labels for answers to the questions given in the introductory activity
    • Selection of secondary sources of information such as books and CD-ROMs
    • Interactive whiteboard
    • Labels of the heart and body parts
    • Red and blue oxygenated and deoxygenated blood cards
    • Computers (one for each group)
  • You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to access the PDF files. BBC Webwise has a complete guide to downloading and installing Adobe Acrobat reader.

    Teaching activities


    1. Watch Learning Zone Class Clips - The heart & how it works.
    2. Display the labels round the room.
    3. Ask the children to run to the correct label in the room after being asked the following questions - What gas is carried in the blood (oxygen)? What do muscles need to work (oxygen)? What is the heart's job (to pump blood around the body)? Where does the blood go and why (it goes around the body dropping off oxygen and picking up carbon dioxide)?


    1. Watch Learning Zone Class Clips - Heart function and health.
    2. Ask the children how the heart can be kept healthy.
    3. Explain that when a muscle is working or exercising it needs oxygen.
    4. Ask the children to measure their pulses. Then ask them to do ten star jumps and check their pulse - has their pulse changed? How? Ask them to jog for two minutes - has it changed? How? Ask them to run on the spot for two minutes - has it changed? How?
    5. Bring up the Bitesize keeping healthy activity on the interactive whiteboard. Show how to make the girl carry out different activities and point to where her heart rate is displayed.
    6. Ask the children to predict when the girl's heart will beat faster and why.
    7. Arrange the children in pairs or groups, with a computer for each group. Ask them to work through the online activity, following the tasks written (and spoken) at the top of the screen. Ask them to record any results on paper.


    1. Ask if the children's predictions were correct?
    2. Why did the girl's heart beat fast when she was running?
    3. What was the blood carrying to the muscles to help them work? Which muscles were working hardest?
    4. What effect did this have on the girl's heart rate?
    5. Repeat these questions for each of the girl's activities.


    1. Ask the children to complete the Bitesize keeping healthy quiz, researching any answers they are unsure of in secondary sources, or the Keeping healthy worksheet (PDF 189KB).
    2. Re-watch Hearts and how to keep them healthy.
    3. Give the children labels of the parts of the heart and body. Ask them to act as blood cells and travel around the body through the heart, picking up oxygen and so on.


    Ask the children to measure and record their pulse rate when they are doing different activities and to write down which muscles are working hardest in each case.

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