Urinary System

Choose from the following activities / resources to enhance instruction of the urinary system.   If there is no class time they can be offered as suggestions of extra-credit possibilities, and after review for accuracy, many projects could be shared on Blackboard to instruct and inspire other students.  An * indicates that the activity is 10 minutes or less and could be done in class with little preparation.
1) Nephron model
2) Colorful excretory pathway
3) Learning from your own urine
4) Being a nephron*
5) Musical resources for the urinary system*

1) Nephron model
Have students build either a 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional nephron. They can use legos or straws or anything else you or they have lying around. Have students pretend they are making a model for a younger person to demonstrate the literal ups and downs of urine production.  We used lincoln logs and cut outs of molecules for a nephron model in our video of “Groovin’ on the Nephron Line”     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4eOKdb2FSQ

2) Colorful excretory pathway
Have students use color either in flashcards or in a model to make sure they understand which parts of the filtration process take place in each location from glomerulus to collecting duct.  They should use one color for a process like re-absorption of water and then have a card that lists all the locations where that takes place in that same location.

3) Learning from your own urine
Have students pay attention to their own urine.  Have them pay attention to how the color and possibly odor of their urine changes depending on:
What they are drinking – Gatorade vs. water vs. soda;
How much they are drinking; and
How much salt they are eating.

Have them figure out why the color/ odor of their urine varies depending on these variables.  Are there any other variables that affect the color, smell or specific gravity of their urine?

4) Being a nephron
Hand out cards to students, each card listing a step or stage of a pathway or participants in a process.  Have the students arrange themselves in the proper order, and in the appropriate shape if applicable  (you can also have each student make him or herself look or sound like the part).  This is fun with the process of urine production as there are many steps / anatomical destinations and a definite arrangement of parts that could be simulated by a line of people with cards.  Then have the participants shout out the steps in order.

5) Musical resources for the urinary system
Songs from “Groovin’ in the Hippocampus”: (clips and downloads available at the home page of this site)
Renin is Runnin (renin-angiotensin system)
Groovin’ on the Nephron Line (excretory pathway) video of this song at

2 thoughts on “Urinary System”

  1. Your website is very informative, thanks for taking the time to reach out to students of A&P. I really liked the visual video with the song, Groovin on the Nephron Line. To me the song is good, and very helpful, when is put with the visual sticks. Perhaps you were trying to teach us that we can make our own visual while playing the song.

    Great job, so much energy!

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