The Respiratory System of the Human Body

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11597

You usually don't think about breathing until you can't breathe, like when you have a cold. But your lungs are always working. See what they do and why we need to breathe, then get out some playdough!


Life Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Did you know your left lung is smaller than your right because you need room for your heart?

Your respiratory system keeps you breathing and keeps oxygen moving through your body!

It is time to learn about the respiratory system!

  • Do you have any idea what that is?

Tell your parent or teacher what you think it might be. Be sure to tell what organs in the body would do the job. For example, do the heart, kidneys, or lungs help you breathe?

Your respiratory system is made up of many parts, but the main organs that run the respiratory system are the lungs. The lungs are one of the largest organs in the human body. In fact, we will see just how big they are a little later.


The respiratory system is also made up of your nose, mouth, and throat.

The nose plays an important part in the breathing process because it filters and warms the air that we breathe. Try to breathe only through your mouth, like when you have a stuffy nose from a cold.

  • That makes it much harder to breathe, doesn't it?

Think about how hard it would be to breathe without your nose! You also wouldn't have anything to hold up your glasses!


Each part of the respiratory system is important because they all work together to make it possible for oxygen to get into your cells. Without oxygen, you would not be able to live, so your lungs are pretty important!

Here are more interesting facts about the respiratory system:

  • The hair in your nose is very important because it helps clean the air that you breathe.
  • The typical sneeze shoots out air at 100 miles per hour!
  • The surface area of the lungs is roughly the size of a tennis court.
  • When we exhale, we lose half a liter of water a day!
  • Children and women breathe faster than men.
  • The average person can hold his or her breath for 30-60 seconds, but the world record is 22 minutes!
  • The lungs are the only organ that can float.

WOW! Those fascinating facts really make you appreciate your lungs and the job they do!

  • Did you know that we lose water every day by breathing?

breath in cold air

That is very interesting. See for yourself!

  1. Get a clear glass and exhale into the glass over and over like you are trying to make something warm.
    • Do you see condensation, or water, in the glass?
  2. You can do this on a mirror or a window as well. See if you can steam up the glass, then feel it. You will see that it is wet, and you made it that way!
  3. Ask your teacher or parent for help if you need it.

breath on glass

Your lungs don't like to breathe in things other than clean air. When there is pollution, or bad things in the air, your lungs don't get as much oxygen, and that hurts them. You should always surround yourself with clean air, and give your lungs the care they deserve.

Not only do your lungs take in oxygen, they also get rid of the gas called carbon dioxide. This gas is stuff your body doesn't need, so it gets rid of it. This gas is important because it plays a very vital part in the life of plants and animals. The lungs are a hugely important organ for your survival!

In the Got It? section, you will have to recall lots of facts from this section, so be ready to show what you've learned!

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