Lungs

I’m working on a follow-up to last week’s posts, and hope to get back to it just as soon as life calms down.

This weekend I canned more applesauce, made cider, and we butchered four beef.  Butchering time is great!  It’s a perfect opportunity for my kids to learn anatomy.  Hands-on, instead of black-and-white sketches in a boring textbook.

One of my favorite biology labs is to investigate the lungs (which we can do, since the cows no longer need them). It’s amazing how much air lungs will hold.  These lungs are the same size; one set is inflated, and the other is not:

The experiment that we usually do (much more interesting than reading in a textbook, “the lungs are spongy air sacs”) is to shove a shop-vac down the trachea, then flip the switch on & off to simulate breathing.  Here’s an example:

Then when we’re done with that part, the kids get to dissect the lungs.  It’s so fun to give them cool learning experiences!