Aspects of Individual Human Blood Pressure

Ora Newman Fulton Elementary School
5300 S. Fulton
Chicago IL 60609
(312) 535-9000

Objective: Student will: 1. Demonstrate the relationship between hypertension and the risk factors. 2. Demonstrate how pressure builds up in clogged arteries. 3. Measure both systolic and diastolic pressure by a sphygmomanometer. Materials needed: blood pressure cuff kit (sphygmomanometer/SFIG-moe-muh-NOM-e-ter) plastic tubes with differing diameters gameboard, bingo style, with risk factors in grids. Boards do NOT need to match each other. (fatty diet, lifestyles and environment, stress, inherited tendency, alcohol intake, overactive adrenal gland, street drugs, caffeine, obesity, kidney disease, diabetes, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive salt intake, cholesterol, other medications, sex, age, race) Strategies: Activity 1: Make gameboards with identifying words associated with hypertension (high blood pressure). Teacher calls out words from cards, first blackout "wins" a small prize. Repeat 2 or 3 times for reinforcement. Activity 2: Using different diameter tubes, have the students compare and contrast the change of flow with a smaller tube vs. a larger one. Await them to make the association to the blood vessels. Would more pressure make the flow as fast as the larger tube? Why? Activity 3: Using the blood pressure kit, demonstrate how to take systolic (upper) pressure-the first number at which you hear a beat after "pumping" above 200. Allow for individual sensitivities. 180 may be high enough for most. Listen to the beats, but notice the number at which you hear the LAST beat (diastolic). Systolic number is the upper number, diastolic, the "down" number. Average, or normal pressure is 120/80. Chart the class by teams, allowing for individual preference of volunteering information. Extension activities: Is there a difference in blood pressure if seated? Lying down? After activity? Why? Students can research influencing factors as reports. Comparing diets before and after the blood pressure studies may be of interest. Performance assessment: Students will demonstrate ability to take blood pressure by measuring the two levels of pressure, systolic and diastolic. Students will become more aware of the external and internal influencing factors on blood pressure.
Return to Biology Index