Respiration Relay

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In this physical activity, groups of learners act as blood cells traveling through the circulatory system. They model picking up oxygen at the lungs, traveling through the heart, and delivering oxygen to a leg muscle. From the leg muscle they pick up carbon dioxide, travel through the heart and deliver carbon dioxide to the lungs so it can be expelled. Learners are encouraged to repeat the activity and time themselves as a contest. When learners set up a free account at Kinetic City, they can answer bonus questions at the end of the activity as a quick assessment. They can also keep track of their progress in all of the Kinetic City activities, and compare their progress to other participants worldwide.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 9 red foam balls (represent oxygen)
  • 9 blue foam balls (represent carbon dioxide)
  • 1 heart sign
  • 1 lung sign
  • 1 leg muscle sign
  • 1 to 9 red blood cell signs
  • 2 bags (or other containers) to hold balls


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Circulation
      • Respiration

Informal Categories

  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • use keyboard
  • use mouse
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • American Association for the Advancement of Science


  • All rights reserved, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2009

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation