What’s in our blood?

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Today, we took a trip inside our blood to learn about it’s composition. We put our items in the middle of our circle and explained that each of these items represent something that lives in the blood. We started with the large container of yellow water, which we were pretending was our plasma. We explained that plasma is a watery like substance that makes up large portion of your blood. At first, some students were not sure how it could be in our blood because it was not red. That lead us to our second ingredient: red blood cells!

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We then added our red blood cells (red water beads) which help to carry oxygen to our hearts. Our red blood cells also work to take away waste, like carbon dioxide, from our bodies. The students also noticed that when we added the red blood cells, the color of the mixture appeared to be more red than yellow. Because of this observation, they concluded that our blood looks red because of red blood cells.

Next on the list were the white blood cells (white pom-poms). It wasn’t long into the introduction before one student shouted, “Those keep you from getting sick!” while another student who was equally excited exclaimed, “Yeah, they attack the germs in your body!”. We then discussed how our white blood cells are always working to keep our bodies from getting sick and help your body get better when you do have a cold or the flu. White blood cells create antibodies that help to attack the germs (green pom-poms) that may be living in other parts of your body.

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Lastly, we discussed how our blood needs platelets (blue pom-poms) because they help our bodies create new skin or scabs when your skin is cut. Each child scoured their bodies for an old boo boo that they could share with the class but surprisingly none could be found.

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Now that we have spent some time learning about the compostion of our blood, it’s time to learn about how the blood moves throughout our bodies. Bring on the giant, tape, floor heart!

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Questions from the heart

As many of you have noticed, our students have been challenged each morning with answering various questions about the human body for our Morning Message. These questions were created and answered by the students. So far, the questions have mostly revolved around our hearts, blood, and veins. Once the children have a chance to use their prior knowledge to take a guess, we spend some time doing research to hopefully find the answer to their inquiries. Yesterday, we had the students write in their journals about one thing they had learned about our bodies this week.

Side note: take a look at that amazing kid-writing!

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The Inner Workings of the Heart

Our heart study led to the creation of a gigantic two-dimensional version on our classroom floor.  The children below are demonstrating the flow of blood through the heart.  The children on the right side of the heart (blue side) represent the oxygen-depleted blood.  After they travel through the two right-hand chambers of the heart, they head to the lungs to pick up oxygen (the red pompoms on the floor.)  Notice how both sets of children carefully open and close the valves (pieces of yarn) in the left and right ventricles.

The child on the left side of the heart is the oxygen-rich blood (already carrying a red pompom) returning from the lungs and heading through the left-side heart chambers.  She then continues on through the aorta and onto the rest of the body.

Valves, Veins, and Arteries

012114_2369Creating our own clay heart models.