Components of Blood

Identify the four components of blood.

The student will identify the four components of blood and theirrelative amounts. The student will understand the function of eachblood component.

Experiment Materials

  • Candy red hots
  • Corn syrup
  • White jellybeans or marshmallows
  • Candy sprinkles


  1. Explain the four components of blood:
    • Red blood cells (candy red hots): 44% of blood volume, carry oxygen and carbon dioxide around body. RBC’s only live for about 3 months, but are continuously produced in the bone marrow.
    • Plasma (corn syrup): 55%, syrups, thick, clear, yellowish liquid that carries dissolved food and wastes.
    • White blood cells (white jelly beans or marshmallows): 0.5%, bigger than red blood cells, oddly shaped cells that “eat” bits of old blood cells and attack germs.
    • Platelets: 0.5% -bits of cells and cytoplasm that help clot your blood.
  2. Emphasize the relative amounts of the blood components. Mix the candy “blood” in a large, clear container. Dispense into small cups, and pass out one cup to each student. Supply spoons so that the students can eat the candy if they desire.

Interesting Fact: There are 5 million red blood cells, 10 thousand white blood cells, and 250 thousand platelets in a pinhead-size drop of blood.

Additional Info

Lesson adapted from http://student.biology.arizona.edu/sciconn and submitted by Kathy Searle.