Respiratory WebQuest

Human Body Systems WebQuest

The Respiratory System


WebQuest for 5th Grade


The human body is an amazing and complex machine. Each system allows you to be able to do so many things walk, read, eat, breathe, see, hear, smell, taste, feel, think, and so much more.

You are a medical student, attending New York University in Manhattan, NY. Your internship will take place at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center under the supervision of Dr. John Wannabaker, chief of staff.

The Task:

As part of your internship each medical student will be assigned a system of the human body to research with two other teammates. Your team has been assigned the respiratory system. Your job will be to defend this body system’s importance and to ultimately present these findings at the New York Medical Symposium this November.
The teams will be randomly selected by Dr. Wannabaker. Medical teams will gather information through a variety of resources some of which may include the internet, medical literature/journals, books, encyclopedias, articles, etc.

Once the information has been gathered diagrams on posters should be created, flow charts, and any other visual aides that will help your team in its defense of your system. In addition, your team is required to prepare a PowerPoint presentation that should have no less than seven slides.

Each team will be expected to present their findings at the New York Medical Symposium in November.

Process: Part I – Gathering Information

Information that should be researched and included is:

1. Where is your system located?
2. What is the main function of your system?
3. What organs make up your body system? What is each organs function?
4. What can go wrong with your body system?
5. How do people make sure that your system remains healthy?
6. What would happen if something went wrong with your body system?
7. Could a person survive without your system?
8. Why is your body system important to the human body?
9. What are some disorders, if any, that are associated with your body system?
10. Diagrams/illustrations should be included in your PowerPoint presentation.


Part II – PowerPoint Presentation

You will need to create a minimum of seven slides. (On each slide you should include a graphic and some text.)

Slide 1: Title Slide
Include the name of the body system and members of your team.

Slide 2: Major Organs
What are the main organs that make up your body system? Include a labeled diagram.

Slide 3: Functions
What is the role(s) of your body system?

Slide 4: Problems and Diseases
What problems can occur within your system?
What diseases are associated with your system?

Slide 5: Staying Healthy
What can people do to keep your system healthy?
What advice can you give them?

Slide 6: Continuing to be a part of the Human Body
Explain why the Medical Board should keep this system as part of the human body.

Slide 7: Resources
Please include a list of resources that you used to research this system.
For example include all titles of books, authors, and internet sites.




The Respiratory System - Glossary

Bronchi: The two main air passages into the lungs.

Diaphragm: The main muscle used for breathing; separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.

Epiglottis: A flap of cartilage that prevents food from entering the trachea (or windpipe).

Esophagus: The tube through which food passes from the mouth down into the stomach.

Heart: The muscular organ that pumps blood throughout the body.

Intercostal muscles: Thin sheets of muscle between each rib that expand (when air is inhaled) and contract (when air is exhaled).

Larynx: Voice box.

Lungs: The two organs that extract oxygen from inhaled air and expel carbon dioxide in exhaled air.

Muscles attached to the diaphragm: These muscles help move the diaphragm up and down for breathing.

Nasal cavity: Interior area of the nose; lined with a sticky mucous membrane and contains tiny, surface hairs called cilia.

Nose hairs: Located at the entrance of the nose, these hairs trap large particles that are inhaled.

Paranasal sinuses: Air spaces within the skull.

Pharynx: The throat.

Pleural membrane: Covering the lung and lining the chest cavity, this membrane has 2 thin layers.

Pulmonary vessels: Pulmonary arteries carry deoxygenated blood from the heart and lungs; pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood back to the heart.

Respiratory center: Area of the brain that controls breathing.

Ribs: Bones attached to the spine and central portion of the breastbone, which support the chest wall and protect the heart, lungs, and other organs in the chest.

Trachea: Tube through which air passes from the nose to the lungs (also known as the windpipe).

Internet Resources

Evaluation: Part III

Your team will be assigned a date and time to present your research and PowerPoint presentation. You may use note cards to assist you in this presentation and certainly your PowerPoint creation. Dr. Wannabaker will evaluate your team by using a rubric. Some items to consider for evaluation are: accuracy of information, quality of presentation, grammatical correctness, proper spelling, correct diagnosis, PowerPoint presentation, team work, completion of assignment on time, etc. At the conclusion of this presentation a vote will be taken to see if your system will remain a part of the human body.

Click on the rubric to see how your group will be evaluated.


You have worked hard and researched the respiratory system and the organs included in it. You have demonstrated the ability to gather information using a variety of media including reference books, and internet sites. You have learned which diseases/disorders are common to your body system. You have shown what you have learned by your oral presentation, your teamwork, and your PowerPoint presentation.

Congratulations! The Medical Board has voted and your team’s exemplary presentation on the respiratory system will allow it to remain a part of the human body. In addition to this honor, you and your teammates will be awarded an all expense paid trip for four nights and five days to the destination of your choice.