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A Little Bit of Blood and Gore ...

Our classroom was covered in blood today ... before you start to worry, it was a good thing.  :)  As part of our human body unit in science, we made blood today.  I found this wonderful idea on Pinterest and traced it back to HERE.  I have an extremely high ratio of boys in my class (17:6) and it's getting close to Halloween, so I knew this would be a hit.  And a HIT it was!!!  LOVE these moments!







The past few days we had studied the circulatory system, so today was the day to make blood.  I had all my students bring in plastic water bottles today (I had a few on hand for those that forgot).  We started out by making plasma (water, two drops of yellow food colouring, and a bit of salt to represent the minerals and chemicals.  (And yes, I did get quite a few comments about it looking like pee in the bottle - I told you, I have a LOT of boys in my class). ;)

We then added our red blood cells.  I poured a large amount of Cheerios into a large ziploc bag and added a whole bottle of red food colouring.  I mixed it up until all of the Cheerios were red, then let the students add the Cheerios to their bottles.  The students already knew that the red blood cells were the most plentiful type of cell in the blood, and the reason why blood appears the colour of red.  Like magic, as soon as we added the Cheerios to our bottles, the plasma turned red.



We then added some mini marshmallows to represent the white blood cells and purple pompoms to represent the platelets (both less plentiful then the red blood cells).  The finished result was quite gross, but definitely a useful model that my students will remember for a long time.


Because I try to integrate the content areas into Language Arts whenever possible, we turned our bloody experiment into a writing task.  The final task was to have my students write an expository paragraph about blood.  After a quick minilesson about the set-up of an expository paragraph, I taught my students how to set-up a page to do research.  We divided our page into 4 large squares (plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) and watched a BrainPop video about blood.  Students had to record facts and research on their page while watching the video (we actually watched the video twice to make sure we got down all the facts ... we LOVE BrainPop in my classroom!).  I subscribe to BrainPop on my iPad.  I only have one iPad for my classroom (my own which I bring to school everyday.  I put my iPad under the ELMO so it projects over the smartboard.

Last step, the students turned their research into an expository paragraph.  They needed to include a topic and closing sentence, and at least one sentence in the body for each of the four subtopics (plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets).  I did encourage my more proficient writers to include at least two compound sentences for each subtopic.  They had to illustrate their paragraphs with a labelled diagram of the blood model we made today.  A great summative piece to a bloody fun day!  ;)  (I apologize for the lightness of the pictures here - when my students write in pencil, it's so hard to photograph).


 Happy almost Friday!!!  I'm SO ready for you!!!


27 comments:

  1. What a great project! I agree that your students will remember that for a long time!

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  2. You must be the COOLEST teacher ever!!! I am sure that is a forever moment in their lives! We are researching diseases... I am not so cool! LOL

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  3. This looks like so much fun! I am going to have to borrow this idea later in the year. Thank you for sharing! :)

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  4. That's gross, but the coolest thing EVER at the same time :) You always amaze me!!
    Elizabeth

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  5. I am definitely borrowing this idea. My third graders will love this! We are learning about the muscular system right and we just talked about the heart. This would be a great tie-in.

    Jana
    Thinking Out Loud

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  6. Love it Jen! Great way to integrate all of the different subjects...and use BrainPOP! Love that!

    ~Stephanie
    Teaching in Room 6

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  7. Love love love this idea and I too have a 14:8 ratio of boys to girls. They will love this and I love how it ties into so much of the curriculum in a memorable way. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. This SO cool!!!! Your students are so lucky! I am going to share this idea!! It must be done at our school!!

    My Whole Brain Teaching Blog

    A Grade One Nut and Her Squirrelly Crew


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  9. This is awesome. I love it. I also love your blog design. Super cute!
    Life with Mrs. L

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  10. That is a cool demo!

    They sell cords that will connect your projector to your Ipad. I think they are fairly inexpensive. I never would've thought of putting it under your document camera and doing it that way!

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  11. SO COOL JENNIFER!!!!! So bummed I don't teach science this year, but am most definitely letting my teaching partner know about this! Perhaps if she doesn't get to it, I will do it for our Halloween party instead since we are currently in the human body unit as well! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome idea!!

    YoungTeacherLove 5th Grade Blog


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  12. Love this idea. How long did it take for you to do it in class? Sometimes I get de-motivated to do such things because they seem to take like forever! Thanks and well done!

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  13. I will have to remember this for when we get to the circulatory system. We are working on the nervous system right now! Thanks for the great blog post:)
    Terri

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  14. I just got my ipad cord in the mail today. I have high hopes hooking it straight to the projector will be great! Eighteen bucks on Amazon. That lesson looks terrific!

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  15. Super super super lesson! You accomplished a lot, and your students will remember it because of the hands on and integration. Super cool lesson. I don't want to teach science, but this post made me want to teach this lesson. :)

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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  16. Such a CoOl project!!! I wish I taught this; maybe I can sneak it in during our Halloween party?

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  17. This was awesome. Can't wait to teach the human body. You always have the best ideas.

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  18. You totally rock!! Awesome!

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  19. What an awesome project and writing task. I am sure the kids, and you, had a great time with it. Just and FYI, there is an adapter that can allow you to hook up your iPad to your computer and project it on the SmartBoard. This way you can bypass the ELMO.

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  20. This is a FANTASTIC hands on integrated project! Thank you for sharing!!!!!

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  21. You have a great blog, and I am a new follower. I used to teach upper elementary and loved it. I was moved to second grade and didn't love it the first year, but now I really enjoy it. I have created my own blog, and would love for you to check it out.
    thanks
    -karen
    http://littlesecondgradesomebodies.blogspot.com/

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  22. Hello, I tried this with my class, i also have 11 boys!!!!! they had SOOOO much fun they did not want to get rid if it! You are really inspiring me to be in a new level! I have been in the infant department for over 10 years!!!! Thanks for your advice and keep up the good work!

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  23. Made a last trip to walmart this morning, bottles are in my class and the red cheerios are drying on a cookie sheet (my own kids fingers are pink because they keep touchin them;). Also plan on viewing the Brain-pop clip (so glad it's translated in french for me too:)
    thanks again Jen!

    Darlene in Sudbury

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  24. I LOVE this! But did anyone else have any problems with getting the cheerios to all be really red? I used alot of food coloring for about half a bag of cereal and it barely took. I am just making due beacuse I do not have anymore coloring, but I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for me for next year. Because I will DEFINITELY be doing this next year! My kids loved this activity!!!

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  25. Thanks for posting this! This was PERFECT for a Fun Friday! Letting the cheerios soak for several hours in the food coloring made them really red. I tried adding more cheerios during the activity and they didn't get as red. We used duct tape to seal the lids of the bottles as much as possible before I let them leave the room, but still warned about staining and not to tip or shake just in case. Found your blog through Pinterest. :)

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  26. Definitely will try this with my 5s this week.

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