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.

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
  • Language: English

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

Components that are part of this resource

This resource is part of


The Learning Technologies Center, Science Museum of Minnesota; Learning Technologies Center


All Rights Reserved, Science Museum of Minnesota, ©2000

Funding sources

  • Medtronic Foundation



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