|Lesson Plan ID:
Extracting Iron from Cereal
Several breakfast cereals contain iron as a mineral supplement. The iron is in the form of iron powder, and can be extracted from a suspension of crushed cereal in water using a magnet. Iron reacts with acid in the stomach and is eventually absorbed through the small intestine. If all the iron from the body were extracted, there would be enough for two small nails. Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin.
This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.
|SC(9-12) Chemistry||1. Differentiate among pure substances, mixtures, elements, and compounds. |
|Primary Learning Objective(s):
Students will test whether iron is present in the cereal. In their first test, the cereal is very unlikely to stick to the magnet, and friction is too great to allow the flakes to move on the table or bench surface. Floating the cereal flakes on water reduces friction; however, visible movement is still unlikely.
|Additional Learning Objective(s):
Manufacturers add iron to many cereals (fortified) – and other food products such as flour – as a finely divided powder of food-grade material. This is believed to react with stomach acid before passing to the small intestines. The body contains enough iron for two small nails, and it is essential for the production of hemoglobin.
|Approximate Duration of the Lesson:
|| 31 to 60 Minutes|
|Materials and Equipment:
- Mortar and pestle (if handy), size sufficient to contain 25g or 50g of the cereal
- Plastic bags
- Strong magnet, magnetic stirrer coated in white plastic (Teflon or nylon)
- Warm water
|Technology Resources Needed:
Teacher should have a basic idea that most manufacturers add iron to many cereals (fortified) – and other food products such as flour – as a finely divided powder of food-grade material.
This can be done using the same procedure as for the demonstration. However, it is unlikely that many schools will have sufficient magnetic stirrers, so this alternative may be useful:
- Get a plastic sandwich bag. Weigh about 25 grams of Total or Frosted Flakes cereal into the plastic baggie.
- Smash the flakes as much as possible. Leave a crack in the bag to let some of the air out so the bag will not pop. Crush the flakes until they turn to a powder.
- Fill the bag with warm water. Let it sit until it is soggy and gross!!!!
- Place a magnet over the plastic bag and move the magnet around until filings begin to show. Observe any effect the magnet may be having on the movement of the powder. With careful maneuvering, it should be possible to separate out fine grey specks of iron from the rest of the crushed cereal.
- Notice the filings begin to form after about 5-10 minutes while rubbing the magnet over the outside of the plastic bag.
- Repeat steps 1-5 with various cereal then compare the results. Collect data on sheet #2.
|Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.
- Are all metals attracted to a magnet?
- What is a condition that results from not enough iron in the body?
- Which cell is affected by the lack of iron?
- What molecule holds iron in place in the cell?
- What are the symptoms of iron deficiency in the diet?
- Name three places where iron is stored in the body?
- What are some causes of iron deficiency?
- What foods are good sources of iron?
In the class experiment, students test whether iron is present in the cereal. In their first test, the cereal is very unlikely to stick to the magnet, and friction is too great to allow the flakes to move on the table or bench surface. Floating the cereal flakes on water reduces friction; however, visible movement is still unlikely. Crushing the cereal to a fine powder reduces the size and mass of the particles, and therefore the friction with the paper as well. Students should be able to separate out fine grey specks of iron in this final step.
If weaknesses are identified while reviewing during the lesson introduction, the teacher can work with students in small groups to address any weaknesses. While students are working to extract the iron, remind them to take their time and there will not be large quantities of iron initially. It will take a few minutes before tiny specks begin to appear. If students have difficulty extracting iron filings, give them permission to watch other students who are successful.
Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom
for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading
or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at
a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with
short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions;
poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.
|Presentation of Material
||Using Groups and Peers
|Assisting the Reluctant Starter
||Dealing with Inappropriate
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
|Variations Submitted by ALEX Users: