Healthy Heart
By Candace Mendenhall
University of Idaho



The purpose of this lesson plan is to demonstrate how the heart works, facts about the heart, and to show pictures of a troubled heart. Prior to using this lesson plan, the children should have an understanding of the heart as the primary muscle in their bodies. The class will be shown pictures of a healthy heart and a troubled heart. During this lesson, we will discuss the mechanics of the heart, what causes a troubled heart, and ways to have a healthy heart.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to

  • Identify the pathway of the blood through your heart.
  • Identify specific parts of the heart.
  • List amazing heart facts.
  • Find resting heart rate of students.
  • Explain artheroscelerosis and heart attacks.
  • Identify how to prevent a troubled heart.


Previewing Activities

Begin discussion with question such as the following:

  • How do the cells in your body survive? (receive oxygenated blood from the heart)
  • If your heart stops, what happens? (your vital organs, including your heart, don’t get enough oxygenate dblood and they die. This is called a heart attack.)

These questions should get the discussion going in the correct direection about how the human heart works.

Focus for Viewing

Ask specific questions during the internet activity.

  • Why do we need blood? (we need blood so our body can have functioning organs)
  • Where does blood come from? (the heart)
  • Is the heart a muscle? (yes)

Viewing Activities

Contact the website

Begin the lesson by showing the screen that appears titled, "Map of the human heart.: The numbers on the side of the page correspond with the pumping heart on the right. As each number appears on the right, read the corresponding number on the left. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where the cross-section of the heart appears. Point out the major parts of the heart (right pulmonary vein. Right atrium, left pulmonary vein, left atrium). Again, explain verbally, the pathway of the heart (right atrium, right ventricle, lungs, left ventricle, left ventricle, body).

Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click on the icon called troubled heart. A picture of a coronary artery will appear. Read the caption below the picture. Scroll down to the second picture of the cross-section of the coronary artery affected by arthrosceloerosis (hardening of the arteries). Read the caption below the picture. Show the next three pictures of the heart and read the captions below them.

Look at the amazing heart sheet and read the first bullet. Have the students participate in recording their heart rate. Then help the students find their pulse by having them place their fingers on their neck looking for the carotid artery. Have them take their pulse for ten seconds. Then help them multiply this number by 6 to find their heart rates for one minute.

Post Viewing Activities

The purpose of this activity was to demonstrate the pathway of blood through the heart as well as explain the major areas of the heart. Since trouble hearts can be prevented by aerobic exercise, students should be encouraged to run and get their heart rate elevated. Relay races, running laps or playing "freeze tag" all elevate the heart rate. Choose an energetic activity to get heart rates elevated. Upon returning to the classroom remind students that healthy eating and daily exercise are ways to prevent a troubled heart.


Have the students record their heart rate at home. Before bed, in the morning and after school. Each student will come back to class with their heart rates. The students can then share their favorite exercise and their heart rate.


heart.jpg (17646 bytes)

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