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Burn Baby Burn! A Lesson on Muscle Fatigue

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Portable Document Format
Average Rating
4.7 out of 5 stars from 7 ratings.
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Description This teaching resource was developed by a K-12 science teacher in the American Physiologycal Society's 2006 Frontiers in Physiology Program. For more information on this program, please visit www.frontiersinphys.org. The purpose of this lesson is to teach students about the function of skeletal muscle and the effects of fatigue on these muscles. This unit should be used as an introduction of the skeletal and muscular systems. Upon completion of this activity, students should be able to: infer how muscle fatigue affects skeletal muscle and understand the conditions and effects of atrophy.
Type of Resource Laboratory or Hands-On Activity
Format Portable Document Format - PDF
Brandi Odom, Verbum Dei High School
Development Date August 1, 2006
Grade/Age Levels High School lower division (Grades 9-10)
High School upper division (Grades 11-12)
National Science
Educational Standards
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (K-12), Change, constancy, and measurement (K-12), Evidence, models, and explanation (K-12), Matter, energy, and organization in living systems (9-12), Personal and community health (9-12), Understanding about science and technology (K-12), Understandings about scientific inquiry (K-12)
Learning Time 2-3 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By LifeSciTRC Board
Review Date December 6, 2010
Suggested Use

This activity can be used in a variety of ways in high school anatomy and physiology, biology,or exercise physiology classes in the muscle or cellular respiration unit as students learn about aerobic and anaerobic respiration. The incorporation of teacher and student inquiry, group work, internet exploration, and experimental design make it an engaging lesson.  I'm considering using this in the unit on metabolism and cellular respiration along with some other muscle fatigue activities to engage and spark students interest in a topic they often are not as excited about.

Robin Cowen, Army and Navy Academy

This is a nice activity that can be adjusted for just about any level of student. It comes with some nice worksheets and I like the added component of an internet web search. I think this would be a good opener activity for a unit on muscles or exercise.

Danielle Plomaritas, Liberty University

I really like how this has a component for students to get on the web with a few guided questions about what the sources motives are and what biases the sources might have.  I feel like this would work as an introduction and a wrap up for a unit on muscles. 

Meghan Wilson, Hartford High School

This group of activities has teacher led and student led components, a simple lab format with rubic making it very easy to adapt for students.  Have students condut experiments in the muscular system can be problematic, but this hits the spot for high school A&P classes

Jeff DeJongh, Cony High School

I did not use this as an introductory lesson as suggested. I had my students use this about half-way through the muscular system. By doing it midway, the students had a better understanding of muscle mechanics. I feel if it was used as an introduction there would have been a lot of confusion and frustration. My students, high school juniors & seniors in first year anatomy & physiology, were very engaged throughout this lesson. The fact that it deals with comparison of male & female muscles created some friendly competition and made it very authentic.
Tami Kepshire, South Bend Community Schools

This is a simple exercise that will be useful in understanding the design of experiments and helping students understand the elements of the scientific method. The resources listed are excellent and present many aspects of muscle function. The specific focus is on fatigue of muscles and students can address gender differences, muscle training issues, and possibly the different susceptibility to fatigue.
Dexter Speck, University of Kentucky


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