Ace’s Journey through the Human heart

Audio narrative explaining the process of blood circulation through the heart.

Work contribution: Shashank pawar & Charolette li

Target audience: 7th-8th grade students

Learning goals: The process of blood flow in the heart, the structure of the heart and the process of diffusion and an overview of exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide through lungs.

Learning theories:

  • Anchored instruction: the sound clip ignites interest among the audience to learn more about the process of blood circulation, the audio provides a starting point for the learners with basic information in an engaging way which motivates them to learn more about the topic. Example: the learners would try to look at the diagram of the heart and try to locate ‘Ace’ and ‘Frank’ as the story unfolds.
  • Experiential learning: The complex process of blood flow is a simplified with the help of characters experiencing the environment, with scaffolding of the environment through sound effects and the subtle explanation of the characteristics of various parts of the system in the dialogue of the story create a vivid experience for the learners which helps them “live” inside this virtual world they create through visual narrative they create in their mind.
  • Constructivism: The audio narrative with its constant explanation of the visual environment of the system demands the learners to create a visual model of  the system in their minds. This incites inquiry of the visual structure among the users. With the scaffolding from the self-inquired diagram and the audio the learner’s actively create their own mental model of the story.

Script:

This is the story of a newly-born red blood cell, Ace, and his first journey through the human heart. A sudden shove awoke Ace. He felt some movement around him. He opened his eyes and looked around, having no idea what was going on. Not so far away he saw a crowd moving, which looked tired and blue. He wondered what happened to them and where are they going, so he caught up with them and joined.

“Excuse me,  Where are we going?”

“Superior Vena Cava.”

“What is Superior Vena Cava?”

The other red blood cell gave him a glimpse and said nothing. As he was going to ask again, they went into a tunnel. He stopped talking and looked around with his big curious eyes. It’s dark everywhere. All his companions are quiet and slow and lifeless. Then the tunnel got broader and they all went into a room together and saw another crowd coming from the opposite tunnel.

“Woooooohhh….where are we!” Ace can’t help shouting out loud.

“You’re in the right atrium, kiddo.” Said someone from the opposite tunnel.

“Where did you come from?” He asked.

“You mean just now? Oh I came from the inferior vena cava.”

“How is that different from superior vena cava?”

“OH, not so different. Just two tunnels to the heart from different position/direction from human body.”

“Where are we going now?”

“To the Right Ventricle. We’re gonna get there through the Tricuspid Valve.”

“What is that?”

“Tricuspid Valve? It is a door that makes sure none of us get back to here from the right ventricle.”

“Why can’t we get back there?”

“Oh dude, you don’t wanna get back there.” (spooky voice)

As they were talking, ace felt a push and went through the tricuspid valve with his new buddy.

“What’s next?”

Before getting any response, Ace felt a huge impact and was thrown into another tunnel. It was like the biggest shock ever for him! He was so scared and almost started to cry.

“What was that!!!!!!”

He screamed out loud with tears, realizing that he is in a completely different place, it was really windy there. He looked around and everyone seemed to enjoy this moment so much. They were releasing the thing that kept them tired and blue and getting those new things that make them red and energetic. So was his buddy whom  he was taking to……………  and then he realized he was doing the same thing as well.

“What are we doing?” Ace asked.

“Do you like it?”

“Yeah, it felt amazing.”

“We’re exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen. We need that for our work travel. And by the way, that, was an amazing pump by the heart which brought you here through the pulmonic valve and the pulmonary artery.”

“what, where, who???”(confused)

“The pulmonary artery”

“Oh okay and what’s this place, it’s so windy here!” (wind sound)

“It’s the Lungs kiddo, enjoy it while we’re here because we’ll be going back to heart again through the pulmonary veins.”

“Are we going back to the right ventricle?”

“No, that place is dark and boring, we’re going to the left atrium. The left side is where all the energetic buddies stay. so cheer up!”

“Cool!” (excited)

Things started to get interesting for Ace. He went to the left atrium through the pulmonary veins and started chatting with… wait what was that guy’s name??

“ummm, What’s your name?”

“I’m Frank! nice to meet you.”

“Nice meeting you too frank. Oh I see the tricuspid valve again. Are we going to Left ventricle?”

“Clever. That is where all the energetic red blood cell get ready to go out for work.”

“work? already! I’m just a kid!!”

“Oh, fushh! Grow up boy! Trust me you’ll enjoy every moment of it. Just get ready for another amazing shock.”

“What do you mean another shock? No nonononono how could that be amazing…”

“It might be scary at first, but it’s fun.”

“Frank, buddy, are you kidding me?”

“I see you’re new to this but you are about to start a very long and amazing journey and it’s these shocks that keeps you going. You’re going to appreciate it. Now take a breathe, this is the moment.”

(Pump) “woooooooooooooooooooooooo~~~~~~~~~” (Frank)

“wooooooo    aaaaaahhh wooooooo” (Ace)

“Don’t you just love the aorta?! You never know which artery you will be going in! It’s such an adventure! But no matter where you go, you’ll be back home and start over again.

“Whoops, looks like we’re headed in different directions. Best wishes on your first day. By the way, I didn’t catch your name?”

“Ace, I’m Ace”

“Hope to see you again Ace!”

That’s the story of Ace’s first out of many journeys through the human heart. Let’s wish him good luck.

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