My Body Model
Our bodies are very detailed and have many purposes. It’s important to know what is inside of your body and how it works so we can take the best care of it. This model will help you learn about that. There are also lots of things you can do with your model. You can use it to teach your friends and family what you learned. If you are sick, you can even take it to the doctor and have them use it to explain what isn’t working the right way.
Posterboard OR 2 pieces of paper taped together
Red, pink, and white construction paper OR white paper and crayons
3 Sandwich Bags
String or ribbon
Optional: Small snack (like jelly beans, fruit snacks, M&Ms - this will be used to demonstrate what happens when you eat something)
Be sure to ask an adult for help if you get stuck on any step of this project. You will be using scissors so make sure you are sitting at a table and using your scissors safely.
Step 1: First we will trace and cut out the lungs for our model. When you breathe in, air is going into your lungs, and when you breathe out, carbon dioxide is leaving the lungs. Carbon dioxide is the waste of our lungs, we do not want it in our bodies. Once clean air enters your lungs, it is taken by the blood and given to the rest of the organs as the blood moves through your body. Most people have 2 lungs, but the body can work with only 1. The lungs are shaped kind of like a loaf of bread with the bottom cut off. It might help you to search “lung shape” on google (with an adult’s help) to get the best idea of what they look like! Trace an oval shape with a flatter bottom two times on your piece of paper and then cut them out. I only have white paper so I will color mine pink after I am done. If you have pink paper, use that!
Step 2: Now that you have cut out the lungs, use the glue stick to glue them to the big poster board. They should be placed between the middle and the top of the paper.
Step 3: Next, we will cut out a picture of a heart. Did you know that a heart doesn’t actually look like the heart we usually draw for Valentine’s day? It’s actually more like your fist! The heart pushes blood through our body to the places that need it. Different amounts of blood travel to different parts. Organs will need more blood than our toes and fingers need. For this project, I am still going to draw my heart like we would for valentine’s day, but if you want to try to draw your heart how it actually looks, give it a try! With an adult’s help google “real heart shape” to see an example. Draw whatever heart you prefer on your piece of paper and cut it out. I will color mine red after I cut it out, but if you have red paper, use that!
Step 4: After that, you will glue the heart to the posterboard paper. The heart goes above the lung on the left side of the body.
Step 5: After that, we will be making the ribs, Ribs are bones that protect our heart and lungs. They are long and thin and they are on the front and back of your body. Do you know how many ribs you have inside of your body? You have 24 ribs, isn’t that a lot? Today we will only make 4, it would be really hard to fit 24 on this little paper! Trace 4 long ribs, with rounder edges, and cut them out. They should be long enough to cover both lungs. I will just use white paper for these, and I won’t color them after because bones are white!
Step 6: After you cut out your ribs, glue them to the posterboard paper. They should go on top of the heart and lungs.
Step 7: After that, we will glue the intestines onto the picture. We will make these using the string. Intestines are super long and they are twisted up to fit inside of us. After our food travels through our stomach, it moves into the intestines. As it travels through the twisty intestines, the blood stops by the take the nutrients it needs. Nutrients come from the food you eat and they make you strong and help your body work the way it is supposed to. Spread some glue onto your posterboard paper, below the lungs. Lay your string down on top of the glue, twisting it back and forth as you go. Press on the string a little bit to make sure it gets stuck to the paper. Tip: If you are having trouble getting it to stick, cut a few small pieces of tape and use that to secure the string.v
Step 8: Next we will trace and cut out the stomach. You might already know some things about the stomach, we use it at least 3 times a day! When you eat food, it goes into your stomach. Your stomach is filled with acid. Acid is a liquid that breaks down the food you eat so the rest of your body can use it. Food stays in the stomach for about 6 to 8 hours. When it is finally small enough, it moves into the intestines, which we talked about in the step before this one! The stomach is shaped kind of like a cashew or a bean. It is round on the bottom with a dip in the middle. If you would like to see what it looks like, you can google “stomach shape” (with an adult’s help). Draw your round stomach on a piece of paper and cut it out. I will color mine pink after I cut it out. If you have a piece of pink paper, draw it on that!
Step 9: Once you have cut and colored your stomach, you can glue it to the posterboard paper. For this project, we will glue the stomach below the intestines so we have enough room on the paper to see all parts of our projects. But actually, the stomach sits above the intestines inside of our bodies.
Step 10: The next body part we will make is the esophagus. The esophagus is a long tube that is connected to your throat and leads into your stomach. This is how your food travels to your stomach. To make this, we will roll a piece of paper to make a tube. Lay the paper on the table in front of you so the longer sides are on the top and bottom. Pick up the edge of the paper with both of your hands and roll it towards the other edge of the paper. Once it is rolled into a tube, use a couple of pieces of tape to tape the long side shut, just like wrapping a present. (Hint: the ends of the tube stay open!)
Step 11: Now that you made the esophagus, you have to secure it to the paper. I used 1 piece of tape on top of the tube. Be sure to stick the tape to inside of the tube and to the paper so it is held on tight. Now we will tape a baggie to the bottom of the tube. This baggie will act like the stomach. Place the end of the tube inside the baggie. Just leave it right at the opening, we don’t want it to be all the way inside the baggie so there is room for food. Tape the baggie tightly around the tube so it won’t fall off. I used one long piece of tape and wrapped it around the whole tube.
Step 12: Lastly, we will make some pretend lungs out of sandwich bags. Place the end of a straw into the top of the bag and pinch it closed around the straw. If your bag doesn’t have a zip-lock you can just use tape. To make sure it’s held into the bag tightly, wrap some tape around the straw and the bag to make it extra secure. Do this a second time so you have two bags with one straw in each of them. Lay the bags over the lungs, with the straws pointing up. Using 1 piece of tape, tape the straws to the paper.
Step 13: Now that your body model is complete, it’s time to practice using the stomach and the lungs! Using the straws, blow air into the lungs. Do you see how the bags fill up with air? That is what happens to your lungs when you breathe in. Now suck the straws like you are drinking out of them. Do you see how the bags deflate, or lose air? That is what happens to your lungs when you breathe out. Next, drop some candy into the top of your esophagus tube. Can you see it in the bag at the bottom of the esophagus? That is what happens when you eat food, it ends up in your stomach!
Did you learn something new while making this activity? I learned more about how the intestines work. I think I will bring my body model to school to show my teacher. What do you think you can do with yours? Maybe you can show all of your friends and family and try to teach them too!
~ Made By: Emily H.