What our Immune and Lymphatic System lesson plan includes
Lesson Objectives and Overview: Immune and Lymphatic System explains the functions of these important body systems. Students will learn how our bodies fight bad germs to help keep us healthy. They will also understand how the immune system works with other body systems to ensure we can function properly. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.
Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.
Options for Lesson
You will find several additional ideas and activities to incorporate into the lesson in the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page. One idea is to expand this lesson to talk about vaccines as well. Given the recent Covid-19 vaccine information, you could also discuss the history and use of vaccines. Another option is to invite a doctor to talk to the class and answer questions. The doctor could discuss keeping the immune system healthy, why it is is essential, and what the consequences are of having a non-working or low-functioning immune system.
The paragraph on this page gives you a little more information on the lesson overall and describes what you may want to focus your teaching on. You could benefit from teaching this lesson in conjunction with others that deal with germs, vaccines, and so on. The blank lines are available for you to write out any thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare.
IMMUNE AND LYMPHATIC SYSTEM LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES
What Is the Immune System?
The Immune and Lymphatic System contains three pages of content. Students will learn that to be immune means to be protected from disease or illness. Our bodies need a way to defend themselves against invaders, and the immune system is our defense. An immune system is a group of cells, tissues, and organs that protect us from pathogens and keep us healthy. So when we need to fight off a sickness, our immune system goes into battle!
The immune system battles pathogens, allergens, toxins, and malignant cells. Pathogens are microorganisms that can produce diseases. Allergens are substances that cause allergic reactions. Toxins are poisonous, harmful substances, and malignant cells are the cells that can cause cancer. The immune system comprises lots of things, including white blood cells, bone marrow, the spleen, and the lymphatic system. This lesson goes into the role that each part plays.
Parts of the Immune System
Our bone marrow is actually responsible for producing white blood cells. White blood cells include lymphocytes as well, such as B-cells, T-cells, and natural killer cells. As part of the lymphatic system, they are the major player in our immune system. White blood cells move through blood and tissue, seeking any invading microbes. These microbes could be bacteria, viruses, parasites, or even fungi. As soon as they spot an invader, they launch their attack.
The body needs help fighting microbes and the toxins they produce. On the surface of microbes are antigens. Antibodies in our immune system can recognize toxic or foreign antigens. When they do, the microbe is marked for destruction. Cells, proteins, and other chemicals rush to the marked microbe and attack. In addition, a spongy tissue called bone marrow lives inside our bones. It makes red blood cells that help the body carry oxygen, white blood cells to help fight off infections, and platelets that help the blood clot.
Something called the thymus monitors our body’s blood and filters it. It also produces a special type of white blood cell called T-lymphocytes. Another important part is the spleen. A spleen helps remove microbes by filtering the blood and destroys old or damaged red blood cells. Most importantly, it makes antibodies and lymphocytes to support our immune system as it fights off any microbe invaders.
The complement system is a big word for the proteins that rush to help the antibodies attack marked microbes. Finally, there’s the lymphatic system. Inside our body is a network of delicate tubes. These tubes make up the lymphatic system and are part of the immune system. These tubes carry a colorless liquid called lymph. The lymphatic system is made up of lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and lymphocytes.
The lymphatic system deals with bacteria, cancer cells, and other cells or cell toxins that could cause disease. It also works to help manage the fluid levels in the body. For example, it drains the extra water, protein, and other substances that leak out of tiny blood capillaries. It also absorbs some of the fats we eat from the intestine. If the lymphatic system didn’t drain excess fluid in our bodies, it would collect and instead cause us to swell.
The immune system does a fantastic job of keeping our bodies healthy and free from invaders. However, every now and then, a microbe slips by, which can cause our bodies to get sick. When this happens, the immune system kicks it up a notch and fights even harder for us to get well.
There are many things we can do to help keep our immune system healthy. Washing our hands, eating nutritious food, exercising, and getting a good night’s sleep are great examples. In addition, we should avoid prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals like pesticides or cleaning fluids. Drinking lots of water is another way to keep our immune system functioning correctly.
IMMUNE AND LYMPHATIC SYSTEM LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS
The Immune and Lymphatic System lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.
HELP WANTED AD ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
For the activity, students will create ads to recruit white blood cells. They will first read the passage at the top of the worksheet to get background information for the ad. Then they will create a “Help Wanted” flyer that includes four specific parts. First, they must include a job description for what the cells will need to do. They must also include the qualifications or skills required for the job. The third part to include is the benefits, which are what the white blood cells would get for doing their job. Finally, they will include the hours that the cells must work.
IMMUNE AND LYMPHATIC SYSTEM PRACTICE WORKSHEET
The practice worksheet requires students to research four organisms—viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Using the internet or other sources, they will find information to write a description for each organism. They will also provide three examples, and they will draw an example of each organism in the space provided.
GERM ARMY GENERAL HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Students will read the passage at the top of the page that provides a scenario in which they are the general of a germ army. Their mission is to invade a person’s body and make them sick. However, the person’s immune system is fighting back, so the general must call “Germ Headquarters” and report what’s going on.
The students must write a dialogue between themselves and headquarters about the mission. They should describe what’s happening with the army and what’s happening inside the person’s body.
Worksheet Answer Keys
The lesson plan provides an answer key for the practice worksheet. The correct answers are in red to make it easy to compare them with students’ responses. Given the nature of the assignment, there may be some variation in students’ answers. Keep that in mind as you grade. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.