Activity 4A: Arteries By Design: Basic Arterial Anatomy Activity Suggestion

This activity suggestion describes how specific content might be taught to middle school students. It does not contain fully developed lesson materials, which we hope to develop under future funding in this content area. Any feedback on how you are able to use this lesson suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Your comments
can be sent to us at teachhealthk-12@uthscsa.edu.

The focus of this activity is to learn the anatomy of an artery. Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart and to the cells of the body, veins carry the deoxygenated blood back to the heart. There are 3 layers of tissue that make up an artery. Tunica adventitia, the outer layer of an artery is made up of collagen fibers, it protects and anchors the vessel to its surrounding tissue. It helps the artery not to over expand from blood flow pressure. Tunica media is made up of elastic and smooth muscle tissues and controls vasoconstriction and vasodilation of the artery. It allows an artery to stretch and return to its normal size when the heart pumps blood through the artery. The tunica media is the thickest section of the artery. Tunica intima the inner coat is made up of endothelial cells and lines the lumen opening of the vessel. These cells touch each other to form a “gate” or a seal. They can create spaces between themselves to allow substances to move in and out of the blood. A tunica is a covering or membrane that surrounds an artery. Look at Activity 3A Vessel by Design: Basic Vessel Anatomy pages 28 thru 36. This takes you through vessel structure and function, a blood flow map gives the student an opportunity to enlarge the drawing found on page 11 onto a bed sheet or clear shower curtain and physically follow the path blood takes as it leaves the heart and returns. Layers of the Blood Vessel Organizer, found on page 34, is a cut out and glue together organizer showing the different layers of the vessel.


Artery, oxygenated blood, Tunica adventitia, Tunica media,Tunica intima, arteriole, capillaries, membrane, Blood Vessel Organizer, blood flow, heart, blood vessels

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Activity Code: 
Unit Reference: 
Inflamm-O-Wars: Silent Battles within Your Cardiovascular System
Lesson Reference: 
Lesson 4: Inflamm-O-Stories: Progression and Regression of Atherosclerosis