Examining the Heart

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In this activity about the heart (on page 22 of the PDF), learners examine sheep or chicken hearts to learn about the heart's structure and the flow of blood through the heart. Learners will note various components of the heart (atria, auricles, aorta, etc.) as well as discover how blood circulates through the heart to the body. This activity can be conducted as a demonstration. This lesson guide includes background information, setup and management tips, and handouts.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Masking tape and long pins
  • PowerPoint slides or transparencies of all student sheets
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • Chicken heart (fresh) or sheep heart (preserved)
  • Lab notebook or sheets of paper
  • Paper plate
  • Pair of dissecting scissors, plastic knife or scalpel
  • Dissection kit
  • Dissection tray
  • Highlighting markers
  • Magnifiers
  • Disposable gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Copies of student sheets (pp. 25-26; from previous activities: pp.16 and 21)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
      • Muscles and Skin
      • Circulation
      • Respiration
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Tharp, Barbara Z. ; Erdmann, Deanne B. ; Matyas, Marsha L. ; McNeel, Ronald L. ; Moreno, Nancy P.


  • All rights reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, 2009

Funding Source:

  • NASA, NCC 9-58