During our study of the human body, we did this fun activity to demonstrate just what an amazing muscle the heart is! I think your kids will love it, too!
- 2 large dishpans, buckets, or bowls
- 1 gallon of water (1.3 gallons to be specific!)
- a 1/4 cup measuring cup
- watch or timer
In just one day, the heart pumps 1,900 gallons of blood through our body! That’s pretty amazing! To break this down on a smaller scale for students to understand, the heart pumps 1.3 gallons per minute. Showing students a gallon milk jug full of water can help them get a picture of this amount. A little over a gallon a minute means that in each heartbeat, the heart is pumping 2.4 ounces of blood, or about 1/4 cup.
(Heart)Beat the Clock activity:
- Fill one large dishpan, bucket, or bowl with a gallon of water (or 1.3 gallons if you want to be exact!).
- Place the dishpan with the water in it beside the empty dishpan.
- Give a student a 1/4 measuring cup.
- Set a watch or timer for 1 minute. Challenge students to try to work as fast as their heart. Have students try to move all the water in the dishpan (1 gallon) into the empty dishpan in just one minute or less using the 1/4 measuring cup as a scoop.
Students will find that it’s very hard, if not impossible, to scoop and move 1.3 gallons in just one minute. It takes our heart about 72 beats to move this amount of blood through our body in that time frame. Through this fun activity, students can see first hand that the heart is an amazingly strong and efficient muscle!
Looking for more human body activities and resources? Check these out!