In many of my biology lessons I use food as models, examples, and lessons in order to make some difficult or “boring” lessons exciting for my students. What’s not to love? I have combined my love of food and biology to make class fun for the students. And me, because there have been times I have bored myself to sleep, so I keep it fun for me too. Last week we studied blood. To read it from the book is too two dimensional for me and I like three dimensional lessons, lessons that leap off the page, so we made our own blood. After doing some research online I had all the answers I needed.
The picture above is a scale model of 250 grams of homemade blood. You should have seen the kids faces when I announced, “Kids, next Wednesday we are making blood then drinking it.” They thought I was going all vampire on them! But it kept them interested and excited for their lesson. There was some math involved then the fun part; weighing and mixing the ingredients. Here is the break down just in case you are itching to have your own blood model. Plasma makes up 55% of our blood while the cells make up 45%.
Blood 250 grams
126 g Karo syrup- water: 92%
11 g colored ball sprinkles- fats, proteins, ions, sugar, amino acids, waste: 8%
112 g red hots- red blood cells: 99%
1 g mini marshmallow (one) and about 3-4 grains white rice- white blood cell and platelets: 1%
So doesn’t it all make sense now? Look at how many red blood cells there are. Put simply, that is why our blood is red. And how about that one lonesome white blood cell? If this model represented infected blood there would be many more marshmallows. Pretty cool huh? The students thought so too, but no one was game to take a drink! Ice cream topping anyone?