A Bloody Good Time

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SWBAT apply their understanding of genetics to explain the variation in the distribution of human blood types.

Big Idea

A patient is rushed into the ER and it is up to your students to administer the life-saving blood transfusion. Have your students mastered blood typing and will they come to the rescue of this dying patient before it is too late?

Hook - A Bloody Introduction

5 minutes

Students will watch the introductory video clip and record at least five interesting on their paper which will be shared with a partner after the video.   I always warn my students ahead of time if they will be sharing their work in hopes of elevating the quality and inspiring my students to impress each other!


After the students watch the video they will select their two most interesting facts about blood and blood typing to share with their partner.  Students may add their partner's facts to their paper if the fact is not already on recorded. 

The teacher will ask for student volunteers to share an interesting fact that was learned as a result of viewing the video clip.


Direct Instruction - There's More Than One Type of Blood?

15 minutes

The Lecture Notes: Blood Types will reinforce the information that was presented in the anticipatory activity.  Students will focus their notes on the ABO blood typing system:

  • Group A – has only the A antigen on red cells (and B antibody in the plasma)
  • Group B – has only the B antigen on red cells (and A antibody in the plasma)
  • Group AB – has both A and B antigens on red cells (but neither A nor B antibody in the plasma)
  • Group O – has neither A nor B antigens on red cells (but both A and B antibody are in the plasma)

Students will use the graphics in the lecture notes presentation to conceptualize which blood types can be donated to who and which blood types can be accepted by who.  This graphic and additional details are available on the America Red Cross website.  Students will also have the opportunity to walk up to the front board to view the Blood Typing Poster to view blood donation guidelines based on the presence of antibodies and antigens.

Guided Practice - Online Emergency Room Practice

30 minutes

Students will have an opportunity to work in collaborative groups to demonstrate their understanding of blood typing through participation of this online reenactment activity.  Students are empowered to serve as doctors in a hospital emergency room and will be tasked with the responsibility to test and identify each patient's blood and then administer the compatible blood type.  Through the online experience, students will receive immediate feedback that will identify the students' success or their need to go back to review their lecture notes and formulate a new conclusion.  

Students will use the OL Blood Typing Activity Student Handout to guide their progress through the online activity. Teachers are also encouraged to use the OL Blood Typing Activity KEY to review student responses and guide class discussion.

Blood Typing Activity

The online blood typing activity has been created by www.nobelprize.org which has developed an educational component to their website to support science education.   





Blood Type Picture 1 - group work: Students worked well in collaborative groups and each student contributed to the group's choice by referencing their lecture notes.  It was a powerful experience to observe relatively reserved students emerge as passionate medical professionals while attempting to save the lives of the fictional characters' in this activity.

Blood Type Picture 2- group work: In the spirit of the online activity, students became very competitive as they aimed to be the first group to successfully save all patients.  

Blood Type Picture 3 - group work: The student groups engaged in academic discourse as they debated which blood type should be selected for the patients' transfusions.  Students referenced their lecture notes as a resource and gained confidence as the activity progressed.

Sample of Student Work #1: Content Mastery - This student demonstrates a strong understanding of blood types and blood transfusion guidelines.  The score of 5 blood drops at the end of the online activity signifies mastery.

Sample of Student Work #2Emerging Comprehension- This student demonstrates a basic understanding of blood types and blood transfusion guidelines, but would have benefited from more time in class to collaborate with her group members.  The score of 2 blood drops at the end of the online activity signifies the need to review the content and attempt the activity again.

Close - Blood Typing And Punnett Squares

5 minutes

At the conclusion of the online activity, the students participated in a whole group review of the correct blood types that would be compatible for each of the three patients.  Many students expressed difficulty in identifying the correct blood type, but then realized they should have completed the data table on their activity handout before they began the online activity.  Students who utilized the participant handout with a accurately completed data table had a much higher rate of success.  Teachers are encouraged to use Blood Typing Activity Key to guide the whole class discussion.

In an effort to reinforce the concept of blood typing, students will complete the Blood Typing Practice as homework.  The homework activity will activate student prior knowledge by encouraging students to create Punnett squares to predict the probability of the blood genotypes and phenotypes for the offspring.  The concept of single trait Punnett squares was introduced in a prior lesson