Renal System (Kidneys)


Use Word or OneNote to create a learning resource and ensure that you keep images, links and files integrated into that resource.

Learning Activities


  1. Work through the Renal System Interactive and read the paragraph below, then create a Popplet MIND MAP about the Renal system
  2. Create a BRACE MAP (from your mind map) to categorise your information using these main ideas - Anatomy (eg cortex, medulla, renal pelvis, ureter, nephron) and then the functions for all.
  3. Create a FLOW CHART for the production of Urine - use Word/smart art and then copy into OneNote
  4. Use the simple COMPARISON Mind Map organiser - Urea is to Kidneys as ???? is to Lungs - state the relationship
  5. Compare the functions of the Kidneys and the Lungs - VENN DIAGRAM. Hint - Consider the overall function, what is filtered, what is excreted etc.
  6. Create a FRAYER MODEL definition for "EXCRETION" - in the human body.
  7. Create your own total Renal learning resource by combining your diagrams and various graphic organisers into one location.
  8. Practice and check your understanding using Quizlet - Renal


Renal Text Chapter
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Self pace yourself through the following site - it is an excellent RENAL FUNCTION resource as is this very detailed kidney function interactive an excellent link (with this one you can select sections from a drop down list)


Background information on renal filtration

Kidneys are organs of excretion that filter blood. They remove Urea (from the breakdown of protein in the liver), excess water and ions like sodium, they maintain the fluid balance of the body and the correct concentration of the blood. When functioning normally, glucose, red blood cells and protein are retained in the blood and absent in urine. Their presence in the urine indicates a malfunctioning kidney.

Caffeine and alcohol increase urine production (diuresis) and dehydration and smoking reduces urine production.

The nephron is a complex system of tubules. Blood is brought to the nephron via the afferent arteriole. As the blood flows through the glomerulus (a network of capillaries), about one-fifth of the plasma is filtered through the glomerular membrane and collects in the glomerular (Bowman's) capsule, which encases the glomerulus. The fluid then passes through the proximal tubule, from there into the loop of Henle, then into the distal tubule, and finally into the collecting tubule (collecting duct). As the fluid is making its tortuous journey through these various tubules, most of its water and some of the solutes are reabsorbed into the blood via the peritubular capillaries. The water and solutes remaining in the tubules become urine.

Kidney Functions

Glomerulus/Bowman's Capsule - About 20% of the blood flowing through the glomerulus is filtered/forced through the into Bowman's Capsule and the renal tubules.\
Proximal Convoluted Tubule - 90% of the filtrate is reabsorbed from the 100% fo the Glucose, plus variable amounts of the Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium
Loop of Henle - Urine is concentrated due re-absorption of salts and water.
Distal Convoluted Tubule - Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium.

Extension task: End stage renal disease

Create a Cause and effect analysis for the development of End Stage Renal Disease

Extension task: Water Balance


Extension work. Click HERE to view an animation of Hormonal Control of Water Balance in the body.
Excellent 3 page site on Water Balance in the human body - BBC Bitsize. Includes hormonal control, negative feedback loops.



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Urinary System