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The Path of Oxygen in Our Body. Hello! I’m your guide through your Respiratory System! My name is, “Mr. Oxygen Molecule,” but you can call me, “Mr. O 2 .”. The Path of Oxygen in Our Body: The Story of Respiration. Ta ble of Contents Introduction Inhale Mouth and Nose Nasal Passage

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the path of oxygen in our body
The Path of Oxygen in Our Body

Hello! I’m your guide through your Respiratory System! My name is, “Mr. Oxygen Molecule,” but you can call me, “Mr. O2.”

the path of oxygen in our body the story of respiration
The Path of Oxygen in Our Body:The Story of Respiration
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Inhale
  • Mouth and Nose
  • Nasal Passage
  • Trachea
    • Epiglottis and Larynx
  • Bronchi
  • Bronchioles
    • Housecleaning the Bronchial Tubes
  • Alveoli
  • Capillaries
  • Oxygen is in the Blood!
  • Heart
  • Credits
the path of oxygen in our body1
The Path of Oxygen in Our Body
  • We all need oxygen to make the energy we need to live and grow. We get oxygen in our bodies by breathing it in. It is in the air!
  • To breathe is to respire, and the system that controls our breathing is called the Respiratory System.
  • The organs in the Respiratory System deliver the oxygen to our blood, which then is pumped to all parts of our body by the heart.
  • But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning!

When we inhale, we breathe in. There are two places that air (and the oxygen in it) can get into our body:

in our mouth air is warmed and moistened
In our mouth, air is warmed and moistened.

Warm, moist air enters the rest of our body easier than cold, dry air.

mucus traps
Mucus traps:


Tiny Dust Particles

nasal passage
Nasal Passage
  • It is in our head behind our nose and mouth.
  • Inhaled air from the mouth & nose meet up
  • here before moving on.
trachea also called the windpipe
Trachea(Also called the windpipe)


Has Ridges


You can feel the ridges on the front of your throat!


Before the air travels down the trachea

toward the lungs, it passes through the


Epiglottis and Larynx

  • The epiglottis covers the trachea to prevent food from entering it when we swallow.
  • The larynx (also called the voice box) is a muscle structure below the Epiglottis that sits on top of the trachea and contains vocal cords.

Birds-eye view of the Epiglottis




The air moves down the trachea where it branches off into two tubes, each entering one of the lungs.


  • As the air moves farther into the lungs, the
  • bronchial tubes get smaller and smaller.
  • These small tubes are called bronchioles.
housecleaning the bronchial tubes
Housecleaning the Bronchial Tubes

Mucus- in the bronchial tubes

Each Cilium acts like a tiny broom


Tiny hairs in the bronchial tubes

Germs and dust that get past the nasal passage stick to the mucus.

Sweeps back & forth 10 times/second!

That’s 36,000 times/hour!!


Alveoli(Also called Air Sacs)

  • The bronchial tubes continue to get smaller.
  • At the ends of the smallest bronchioles, the air enters air
  • sacs called alveoli.
  • The alveoli look like bunches of grapes!


There are over 300,000,000 alveoli in each lung!


  • Very tiny blood vessels called capillaries

cover each alveoli.

  • Oxygen passes through the walls of the alveoli and into the walls of the TINY capillaries.



the oxygen is in the blood
The Oxygen is in the Blood!
  • The tiny capillariesbecome larger and larger blood
  • vessels as they leave the lungs.
  • Red blood cells carry the oxygen in the blood.
  • The blood is carried in blood vessels to the heart.

Red Blood Cell

Blood Vessel

  • The heart pumps the oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body.
  • The oxygen helps make the energy for us to live and grow…and run and play!
  • Images from:

Inspiration Software, Inc.

Created by Cynthia Theorin

For the 4th Graders of

Gaylord A. Nelson Education Center

July, 2009