Lungometer

Life science learners construct lung-o-meters from gallon-sized milk jugs and then measure their lung capacities. For older students, have them graph the vital lung capacities of each person in the class. Cross-curricular pieces are provided for little ones, including a reading of Mr. Slaptail's Secret, a fictional story about a beaver and the neighborhood kits. Consider constructing a single lung-o-meter for an elementary class rather than having individual groups make them.

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Pros

  • Thorough instructions for making a lung-o-meter are included in Spanish as well as in English
  • Lesson can be used, not only as part of the intended air unit, but also as part of a physical fitness unit
  • Provides cross-curricular activities as options for younger learners
  • Lab sheet is well-planned and makes a sound science experiment
Cons

  • The need to have a gallon-sized milk jug and a 10-quart tub for every group can be difficult to fill; one alternative would be to do the lung capacity measurement as a demonstration
NGSS