Model of the Components of Blood
To make a model of the components of blood, you will need 1 cup of white corn syrup, some yellow food coloring, some red candies such as red hots (we used Cherry Sour Balls), a white jelly bean and 1 teaspoon of round cake sprinkles.
Plasma is the liquid that makes up a little over half of the blood. It is over 90% water. The other 10% is proteins, dissolved gases, salts, vitamins, nutrients, hormones and waste products that come from protein breakdown. Pour a cup of white corn syrup into a bowl to represent the plasma.
Plasma is actually straw-colored so stir a bit of yellow food coloring into the white corn syrup.
Red blood cells are so plentiful, they color the blood. Their job is to deliver oxygen and pick up carbon dioxide as they go through the bloodstream. The red blood cells make a protein called hemoglobin which contains iron atoms. Oxygen is attracted to the iron atoms, and gets pulled along with the hemoglobin through the bloodstream.
For every 700 red blood cells, there will be one white blood cell. We represented this with one white jelly bean. White blood cells are generally larger than the red blood cells. The white blood cells fight infections and clean up the debris and dying cells.
The last component of blood is the platelets, which are fragments of cells. These can be represented by about 1 teaspoon of sprinkles. Platelets aid in the process of coagulation, a chemical mechanism which clots blood when a blood vessel is broken, which keeps us from bleeding to death when we are cut.
|from Bones and the Skeletal System|
These fragments, if not used to form a clot, circulate in the bloodstream for about ten days before they are removed by special cells called phagocytes, which carry the fragments to the liver in order for the iron to be returned to bones via the liver.
Red blood cells are short-lived and so are being continually being replaced by the bone marrow.
When your students are finished making the model, they can make a sketch in their science journals and label the components of blood.
Sources and Resources:
- Exploring Creation with General Science, Jay Wile
- Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology, Jeannie Fulbright and Brooke Ryan