This is a fun activity that can serve as an informal assessment to other eye activities you have done.
1 Campfire Marshmallow
1 Fruit Roll-up or Airheads Extreme
1 Twizzler or Sour Punch Straw
1 Gummy Lifesaver
1 Brown M&M or Reese’s Pieces
Review the parts of the eye you have discussed during previous lessons, especially the retina, optic nerve, iris, and pupil.
Provide one of each item to the student along with a small amount of frosting to use as glue.
Tell the students that they will use each item to construct an edible model of the eye. The items given will represent the globe, retina, optic nerve, pupil, and the iris.
Give the students time to construct the model as they think is appropriate, using frosting to hold it all together. (Hint: I have the students shove the twizzler into the back of the marshmallow rather than try to glue it on with frosting.)
Here is a guide for each item:
Campfire Marshmallow – Globe, vitreous surrounded by sclera
Twizzler – Optic Nerve
Fruit Roll-up – Retina (A small piece is sufficient.)
Gummy Lifesaver – Iris
Brown M&M – Pupil (Remind students that the pupil is actually a HOLE, not something you can touch. Sometimes I use black gel coloring to color in the hole of the Lifesaver instead of a piece of candy to reinforce this concept.)
Discuss the finished product, and make any necessary adjustments to student understanding.
Add two different types of sprinkles to the retina to represent the rods and cones. My students had fun with this one.
Use a cupcake iced with white frosting so your students can practice spreading skills.
Make cake balls to use for the globe. If you coat them in white chocolate, you will be able to stick the items directly onto them before the chocolate hardens. This also allows the student to practice daily living skills.
Research your student’s eye condition with them, and discuss which parts of their eyes are not working properly. Relate this information back to the candy used in the edible eyeball model.
Ask the student if he/she can think of any other types of candy to use on the eyeball to represent different parts.
This activity can also be used as an engaging introduction to other eye activities, BUT, it’s very important to do so with more structure than the original activity calls for. Building the eyeball together while comparing the physical characteristics of each item to the real eye part is crucial to adequate concept development for your student.
PS4.B Electromagnetic Radiation
An object can be seen when light reflected from its surface enters the eyes (4-PS4-2)
LS1.A Structure and Function
Plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction (4-LS1-1)
LS1.D Information Processing
Different sense receptors are specialized for particular kinds of information, which may then be processed by the animal’s brain. Animals are able to use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions (4- LS1-2)