Right Heart, Left Heart
by Greg Crowther
This jingle, written for Biology 242 and Biology 352 at UW-Bothell, offers a concise comparison of the right and left ventricles. The jingle lends itself to gestures such as thumping on one's chest lightly (on the right side) or strongly (on the left side) to indicate the relative forcefulness of the two halves.
Right ventricle feeds the lungs.
It's the weaker side; blood pressure is low.
Left ventricle feeds the rest of you.
It's the stronger side; the blood has farther to go.
Farther, farther, farther, farther to go!
• MP3 (demo)
• sheet music (with melody play-back)
Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.
An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using an audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, and/or (B) illustrating it with pictures, bodily poses, and/or bodily movements. The latter activity could begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.
(1) Do the left and right ventricles look different?
(2) What would be the consequence of pressure being as high in the pulmonary artery as it is in the aorta?
(Answers may be found on the answers page.)