2.1 How the Lungs Work

Talking about How Lungs Work (the Respiratory System)

This is an opportunity for you to practice talking in ASL about how the lungs work.

Steps to the Process

  1. View the diagrams and read the information in English
  2. Video yourself explaining the information in ASL
  3. View ASL resources about information
  4. Re-do your explanation in ASL incorporating new ideas.

1: English Information and Diagrams about How the Lungs Work

The respiratory system is a group of organs and tissues that help you breathe. The main parts of this system are the airways, the lungs and linked blood vessels, and the muscles that enable breathing.

The Respiratory System

respiratory system

Figure A shows the location of the respiratory structures in the body. Figure B is an enlarged image of airways, alveoli, and the capillaries. Figure C shows the location of gas exchange between the capillaries and alveoli.

Your lungs and linked blood vessels deliver oxygen to your body and remove carbon dioxide. Your lungs lie on either side of your breastbone and fill the inside of your chest cavity. Your left lung is slightly smaller than your right lung to allow room for your heart.

Within the lungs, your bronchi branch into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes called bronchioles. These tubes end in bunches of tiny round air sacs called alveoli (al-VEE-uhl-eye).

Each of these air sacs is covered in a mesh of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. The capillaries connect to a network of arteries and veins that move blood through your body.

The pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) artery and its branches deliver blood rich in carbon dioxide (and lacking in oxygen) to the capillaries that surround the air sacs. Inside the air sacs, carbon dioxide moves from the blood into the air. Oxygen moves from the air into the blood in the lungs.

The oxygen-rich blood then travels to the heart through the pulmonary vein and its branches. The heart pumps the oxygen-rich blood out to the body.

Video Lecture on The Lungs and the Pulmonary System

This is from the Khan Academy. Good clear description of how the lungs work.

The video is 20 minutes long and is closed captioned.

For more information, visit:

Finished with preparing, carry on to step 2.

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2: Create your own explanation in ASL

Use the above information (or more sites from the links on the web) to create an explanation of how the lungs work.

You can either create your video as if you are talking to an imagined target audience, or you can create an English explanation and create an interpretation of that.

Post in Discussion Forum
Post your reflections (and video - optional) in the discussion board

The discussion forum has questions that you can use as a a basis for reflection.

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3: View ASL resources related to the topic

View videos on DeafHealth.org.

This site has the following relevant videos:

Pulmonary Function Tests

Sample from Nigel

Finished preparing with these resources, go on to step 4.

Sample from Doug

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4: Re-do your video of your ASL explanation

After having viewed the ASL videos, re-do your own explanation in ASL. Try to incorporate some of the new ideas that you saw.

Post in Discussion Forum
Post your reflections (and video-optional) in the discussion board

The discussion forum has questions that you can use asa a basis for reflection.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 5 April 2016, 10:27 AM