Healthy Lungs

Healthy Lungs lesson plan

What can smoking do to human lungs? Create realistic models of healthy and smoker's lungs.

  • 1.

    One of the greatest threats to the human respiratory system is smoking tobacco. Tars, an ingredient in tobacco (cigarettes and cigars), irritates airways and leads to infections and diseases such as cancer and emphysema. Lungs typically become clogged with the sticky tobacco tars, reducing their capacity. Tars also kill the cilia hairs in the trachea, which are responsible for cleaning away infections.

  • 2.

    Students find pictures of healthy and smokers' lungs. What are the differences? Healthy lungs are pink. Smoking turns lungs black from the sticky tars. Diseases can destroy lung tissue.

  • 3.

    Use Crayola® Model Magic® to shape models of a healthy lung and a smoker's lung. Dry overnight.

  • 4.

    Cover the art area with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Tempera and paintbrushes to paint a set of lungs in accurate colors. Dry.

  • 5.

    Cut blank index cards into small pieces with Crayola Scissors. Write with Crayola Markers to label the different parts of the lungs. Glue labels to toothpicks with Crayola School Glue. Dry.

  • 6.

    Attach labels to the lungs.


  • LA: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts
  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably
  • LA: Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
  • LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • SCI: Ask questions to clarify the scientific, economic, political, and social justifications used in making decisions about maintaining biodiversity in ecosystems.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.


  • Invite a local medical professional to speak with the class about how the human lungs function, as well as how smoking affects the lungs. Prior to the visit, students compose questions for the expert. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.
  • Working in teams of two, students diagram the entire human respiratory system.
  • Working in small groups, students investigate the history of the tobacco industry's marketing strategies. Prepare an electronic presentation for classmates.
  • Working in teams of two or individually, students compose a short poem to describe what happens to a human when the person smokes. Students can also illustrate the poem.
  • Students interview two people: one that was a smoker and quit; another that never smoked. Prior to the interviews, students write focus questions for both subjects. After the interviews, students organize responses into an electronic presentation for classmates.