Sunday Science - Blood Isn't Blue

One of the main reasons I chose to homeschool is to be able to answer my child's questions when they happen rather than relying on someone else. Froggy was looking at my inner forearm at lunch and asked about the blue lines. Daddy piped in with what he believed the reason was "It is because the blood in your veins is blue"

Excuse me? Are you kidding me? How the heck did you get all through school still believing this misconception. I tried to correct him on the spot but he was confident that he was correct.

Mommy quickly takes it upon herself to educate both her people. I looked and looked to try to find an experiment that would show her but nothing visual displaced Daddy's myth since his explanation came with an reason why the blood turned red when you cut yourself. "Because it is exposed to oxygen"

Instead we focused on how art is different from science. We made tracks around the house using the gumball track design from No Time For Flashcards. Did the ball change on the track? Does your blood change in your veins?

We read lots of science books hoping the idea would sink in. The favorite was definitely Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body. We also read a couple of really good books that focused more on the circulatory. Blood by Anna Sandeman was an amazing book with lots of information but with its "purply-red" description of the blood in veins only helped perpetuate the misconception. Blood does not change colors as it goes through the system. The Circulatory System by Conrad J. Storad was much more useful. The pictures were real pictures rather than drawings for the most part. When there were drawings they were accurate and simple. The text was informative yet simple, lots of learning opportunities without being overwhelming.

In the end I think two more people now understand that blood is never really blue no matter how it is drawn in pictures.


  1. I just read a bit from the global classroom, that explains this pretty well, if you need anymore back up :)

  2. Well, the first thought that came to my mind is actually cutting the vein - just kidding, of course. Too funny that your husband thought that blood in veins is really blue, but Froggy did ask a good question.

  3. That was a good question. I knew it didn't really change colors, just the appearance of it, but hadn't really thought through the whole explanation of it.


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