What can I use/or any ideas on how to create a diagram (for a grade 5 science project) of the human lung system (can only use food and/or candy?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You can take flour and mix it with water and food coloring and create a sort of paste. That counts as food! I was also going to suggest different colors of licorice strings. It comes in flavors now, so you have both blue and red colors you can use to create the lungs.
wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I am assuming that you are creating a cross section or the inside portion of the lungs. You might want to start by drawing or printing a graphic of the lungs and taking it to the local store to see what types of food they have. Red licorice comes to mind for me as well. Spagetti would also make nice bronchial tubes. You could use rasberries to represent the alveoli but they wouldn't last very long. I certainly wouldn't use ground beef or something that will spoil so quickly. You could use nerds or another small candy glued in a clump if you want something that will last. Bread, fruit roll ups, or anything you can lay flat and make a basic shape with would create a nice lung outline. Large pasta tubes would work well for the trachea. You could also make a mosaic type design with jelly beans or colored candy.
txmedteach's profile pic

txmedteach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

Looks like you'd need two things: a couple of tubes to simulate the upper respiratory system (mouth, nose, throat) and parts of the lower respiratory system (trachea, bronchi) and something inflatable to simulate the lungs.

I'd probably go something like red licorice sticks or tubular pasta to simulate the nose/mouth leading down the throat and continuing to the trachea. At the end of the trachea, you could split the tubes into the "Y" to make bronchi.

To make the "lungs" you should use something elastic and inflatable. Gum came to mind for me. However, it'd have to be pretty well-worked gum (prechewed...) to ensure its compliance. You'd have to make it into a sort of bubble, and then seal the rim of the bubble on the end of the red licorice/pasta.

However, there is also the option of making them not necessarily animated, in which case you could get anything pink and moldable, really for the lungs. You might even be able to buy some cheap ground beef, mold it, and seal it in a few layers of plastic wrap. Another fun side of this is that you could also push your kid to demonstrate the dangers of smoking on one lung by putting a ton of pepper on it (to show the carbon deposits that smoking leaves). I'm sure that'll be inspirational for the class.

Finally, depending on how loose the definition is for "food," you might just hit a butcher shop and pick up some animal lungs. You know, if you're in a hurry!

Hope that gives you some ideas!

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