Mom’s homeschooling activity helps kids learn how COVID-19 affects the ability to breathe

An activity for kids to learn how COVID-19 affects the respiratory system

WASHINGTON PARK, Ga — Diane Henley has been a nurse on the pediatric oncology floor at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for about 11 years now.

She’s also a mom of four, and, like many parents amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is currently struggling to balance her work life while homeschooling.

“The girls’ teachers have been so supportive in giving us tracks to run on with math and literacy assignments each day, but I quickly realized that I enjoy homeschooling more when I include some things I get really excited about,” she explained.

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So, Henley started doing anatomy lessons with them – specifically tackling the respiratory system.

“My kids have always had lots of questions about my patients, and right now they have a lot of questions about COVID-19, so learning a bit more about the respiratory system has helped have a framework to sort through some of those questions together in an age-appropriate way," she said.

For the activity, she gathered materials they already had at home like straws, tape and plastic bags. She then had the girls create models of the respiratory system, and then color pictures of bronchi and bronchioles and other parts of the respiratory tract.

“I’m not very good at crafts, but it’s a lot more fun when I see it helping them understand how healthy lungs are intended to work and then what happens with different disease processes in the lungs. It helps them to understand how they are created, as well as what friends and neighbors are going through who are sick right now."

What a great activity to understand the COVID-19 pandemic, while learning at home.