Students with a model of a glucose molecule

The Science of Fasting

Submitted by: Alanah Percy, Grade 6 and 7 Science

In preparation for Yom Kippur, 6th graders learned about the science of fasting. With the aid of hands-on demos including colorful pomp-poms that represented glucose, veggie oil in special cups representing fats, an interactive video clip and fill in the blanks notes, the class was able to identify the differences between energy sources used after 8, 24 and 72 hours of fasting. We discussed the health benefits associated with short stints of fasting including the practice of Yom Kippur and the downsides of fasting for 72 hours or more. After the lesson, students correctly noted that glucose was the primary energy source between 1-8 hours of fasting and that fats were broken down after 8 hours of fasting. The demos and fill in the blank notes served as a form of differentiation for students with different learning styles and effectively solidified the cultural and scientific relevance of the subject. Before the end of the block, students completed an exit ticket; a write-up about what they learned during the class period. The effectiveness of this lesson proves that students should engage Jewish culture in science and understand its scientific and cultural pertinence.

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