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Sites to see:
The heart


What better time is there than St.Valentine's Day to teach your students about how the human heart really works? Whether your students are preschoolers or high-schoolers, you're sure to find a site here that will unlock for them a mystery of the heart.

  • Did you know that the human heart beats about 100,000 times a day, 35 million times a year, and two and a half billion times in an average lifetime?
  • The average heart pumps more that a gallon of blood a minute.
  • A kid's heart is about the size of a fist. An adult's heart is the size of two fists.
  • In the United States, about 2,000 people a day die of heart disease.

You'll find those facts and many others at one of the heart-related Web sites below.

Electric Heart
This companion site to the 1999 Nova program "The Electric Heart" offers a number of features that teachers and students will love to learn from. Those include a Map of the Human Heart, Amazing Heart Facts, and an interactive lesson on How to Transplant a Heart in 19 Easy Steps.

The Heart: An Online Exploration
The Franklin Institute Online offers this interactive tour of the human heart that includes discussions of its structure, function, and development. The site also provides tips for keeping your heart healthy as well as a look at the history of heart science. Kids will love the look and readability of the exhibit, while educators will find the resources extremely helpful.

The heart and the circulatory system
Part of Access Excellence, "a national educational program that provides high school health and biology teachers access to critical sources of new scientific information via the World Wide Web," this site includes an explanation of heart anatomy and a discussion of the history of scientific study of the heart, as well as Heart Activities, Heart Resources, and a Heart Glossary for classroom use.

How your heart works
In typical How Stuff Works fashion, this site offers probably the most complete discussion of the workings of the human heart. This site explains not just heart anatomy -- with clearly labeled diagrams -- but also the heart's electrical system, blood flow and blood supply, and much more. Included are links to even more information, including information on heart disease and heart health.

Virtual body
Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation presents this 3-part interactive exploration of the human heart. In Heart Parts, visitors learn about the anatomy of the heart. In Animated Heart, they see an animation of how the heart functions as they manually control the flow of blood through its chambers. In a Narrated Tour of the heart, they learn about the size and location of the heart and follow the flow of blood through it. Even the youngest students will enjoy this one-stop study of the human heart.

Human anatomy online
Human Anatomy Online makes effective use of frames in creating an easy-to-navigate page for viewers. Simply click the cardiovascular system and float your cursor over the areas of interest to you. Additional links to anatomical cross-sections and heart-related medical phenomena round out this educational tour.

Brainpop, a site in the tradition of The Yuckiest Site on the Internet, uses offbeat graphics, vibrant color schemes, and amusing audio to present a picture of the human heart. (Click Health Movies.) The animated movie describes the anatomy of the heart, explains how the heart works to pump blood through the body, and discusses the effect of exercise on the heart. The information provided is both thorough and thoroughly understandable for even the youngest students. And it's so much fun, kids won't even know they're learning. Don't forget to check out the Teacher's Corner while you're there.


More "heart" resources

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Updated 1/31/2016