The Chemistry of Blood

The chemistry of blood is fascinating.  Our bodies are chemical factories. Everything you do from breathing and eating to moving and thinking involves chemical reactions.


The Chemistry of Blood

Take blood, for example. There’s the reaction where oxygen is bound to the red blood cells through the aid of hemoglobin, which contains iron. Then there’s the complex reactions that take place for blood to clot.  Also, there are the chemical signals used by white blood cells to differentiate between what is the body and what is not so that the white blood cells only attack foreign objects.  Then there’s the way blood travels around the body giving out nutrients in just the right places and picking up waste carrying it back to the kidneys.

Each of these exchanges in the blood involves multi-step complex chemical reactions. The body daily performs wildly complex reactions that scientists can not begin to comprehend, let alone to duplicate in a lab.  One of the amazing things is that our bodies are doing all of these reactions simultaneously without us even thinking about it.

Blood Clotting Worksheet

One of the amazingly complicated processes is blood clotting.  Complete and color this Blood Clotting Worksheet to see how this works.

Even something as commonplace as blood clotting is a complex process. Print and color this worksheet to learn about blood clotting.

Fake Blood

So after you’ve told your kids some of the amazing chemistry happening in their blood, have them make fake blood, just for fun.

  1. Mix 1 c. Corn Syrup and 1 T. water
  2. Add 1 T. red food coloring and 1 t. yellow food coloring
  3. Stir well

That’s it! Be careful this will stain your house, your skin, and your clothes.

Additional Layers

  • Learn about other body systems and the chemistry that happens there.
  • Each of these chemical reactions that happen in your body require certain chemicals to make them happen. For example a muscle contraction (or relaxation) can’t occur unless there is sufficient calcium, magnesium, and potassium present. Talk about how your nutrition affects the function of your body.
  • Research one of the reactions that blood is involved in.  Make a diagram showing the steps of the reaction.
  • Use the fake blood to make fake wounds and practice first aid skills.
  • Make fake blood part of your next Halloween costume!

This activity is from Layers of Learning Unit 2-8.  You’ll find lots more engaging learning explorations in the unit.

Layers of Learning Unit 2-8
Layers of Learning Unit 2-8 covers the Feudal System, Germany, The muscular and cardiopulmonary systems, and Gothic Art.

More From Layers of Learning

You may be interested to see what a week of Layers of Learning looks like in our homeschool.   And here’s an overall look at how we teach science in our homeschool.

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