As I noted in a post last week, we are focussing on learning about the body at the moment. As part of that, I decided to focus on blood and breathing. We did the first of our learning with the theme – What is Blood? and had a What is Blood Experiment.
I wanted the children to understand the four key parts of the blood, and to perhaps be able to understand what each part did. I talked to them about blood, how or heart beats and pumps it around and how blood runs through all the body, travelling through veins. I used a couple of books from Collins whilst we chatted (I’ll write about these again). I really liked these books as they show the various body systems really well, plus there is a lot of information to help me with the inevitable additional questions.
We then set about with a quick experiment, the aim of which was to help the children to visualise the four different parts. I used the following:
- A jar
- water coloured yellow (I used a drop of orange juice)
- cheerios coloured red with food colouring (I popped a good few handfuls into a plastic tub and gave a liberal coating of red food colouring. I then popped the lid on and gave it all a good shake before leaving them to dry out for a little while).
- white marshmallows
- cut up playfoam sheets (I used purple and pink but any colour would be fine).
We talked about how the yellow water was the plasma, and poured this into the jar. We then added the white blood cells (marshmallows) and the platelets (cut up playfoam).
I then prompted the children to think about how the ‘blood’ in the jar differed to our own blood, they soon worked out that the colour was the issue. We added the red cheerios and instantly the water began to turn red. A shake of the jar and it very quickly looked suitably blood coloured. The children were amazed and kept pointing out the things they could see.
This was a really easy experiment to do and the children loved it. They’ve asked to do this again, so it is something we will be looking at during the week. I was pleased with it as an easy way to show them how the blood in our body is made up and it has really helped them retain the information.