Improving Science Education 5-14

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Living things and the processes of life
 The processes of life

Pupil Activity


  • Fold the large coloured sheet (45 cm x 15 cm ) into a roll and tape together. This represents the outer surface of the lung.

  • Cut the other pieces of paper into 15 cm x 10 cm pieces. These are the air sacs or alveoli.

  • Fold these into rolls and fit in as many as you can into the big roll.


What is the area of the big roll?

What is the area of the small roll?

How many rolled smaller tubes fit into the big tube?

What is the total area of all the small tubes added together?

What does this show you?

In fact the surface area of the lungs is enormous.

The total surface area of all the air sacs or alveoli is over 100 square metres

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