Lung Model: Make a Lung and Diaphragm

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By building a model of a lung and diaphragm, learners discover the function of various parts of the body's respiratory system. The model uses common items - a plastic bottle, a balloon, and a vinyl glove. Included in the lesson are useful descriptions and diagrams of the human respiratory system as well as links to useful resources. Lesson plan includes extensions and background information. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • 20-ounce or 2-liter plastic bottle
  • balloon
  • piece of plastic from a trash bag or shopping bag (cut in a 30-cm-diameter circle)or vinyl glove
  • rubber band
  • poster or reference books with lung diagrams
  • scissors
  • marker
  • masking tape
  • craft knife (for educator use)


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Respiration


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Science Museum of Minnesota, 2000

Funding Source:

  • Medtronic Foundation