Blood Flow Through the Heart

Purpose:

To illustrate the flow of blood in the heart and the function of the heart valves to students who are blind or visually impaired

Background Information:

Biology textbooks usually feature a complicated diagram illustrating the flow of blood in the heart as well as the names of the 4 chambers and the major arteries and veins.

This hands on activity offers an interactive method to study the chambers, valves and blood flow of the heart.
 

Preparation: 

On a white board or tray, use Wikki Stix™ to create an outline of the heart and the major arteries and veins. Use short pieces of Wikki Stix™ to indicate the valves. The blood is represented by red beads in strings as well as a few beads separated.

Materials: 

  • White board or tray
  • Small beads
  • String
  • Wikki Stix

Procedure: 

  1. After reading about the chambers of the heart, the function of the valves, and the pattern of the blood flow, examine the tactile drawing of the heart.
  2. Practice opening the closing the "valves".
  3. Insert the beads representing the blood into the tactile drawing following the instructions of your teacher.
  4. Allow the "blood" to flow through the valves into the chambers of the heart by opening and closing each valve as needed.

Variations: 

  • Examine a 3D model of the heart that opens for the chambers to be examined.  These models can be purchased from science teaching catalogs or borrowed from a cardiologist's office.
  • Use a stethoscope to listen to the heart beats that correspond to the opening and closing of heart valves.

Author:

Sarah Hughes, Head of Science, New College Worcester, United Kingdom   The original activity appears here.

Resources:

Hughes, Sarah, Making Models. New College Worcester, England, United Kingdom, 2009.
Miller, Kenneth R. Ph.D. and Joseph s. Levine, Ph.D. Biology: Foundation Edition, Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2010, page 787.

 

blood flow collage


 

NGSS Standards: