Blood cells are a challenge to master! Unlike many topics, there are no “models” that help students learn the unique characteristics of each of the specific types of blood cells. This activity helps students learn or review the many types of blood cells, their unique characteristics, their function, their normal values in the human body and imbalances associated with them. Additionally, student can match blood cell images that you include. Students can work individually or in teams, thereby promoting teamwork and discussion.
• Due to copyright laws, I have not included any images of blood cells in the activity, however, I have created cards where you simply copy and paste images from your textbook instructor resources or images you find online.
You will receive the following:
1 Powerpoint Presentation (27 pages/slides) with the cards to print, laminate and cut. There are four cards to a page but you can modify and edit the size of the cards, shape and colors any way you wish. The cards included are:
8 cards with blood cell names in blue. The blood cells included are
Red blood cells
8 cards with a description of each cell type in red. These description contain unique characteristics such as “multilobed nucleus, granules no visible, 10-12uM in diameter”.
8 cards with normal value ranges in green. Example: 3000-7000 cells/uL, 50-70% of white blood cells.
8 cards with functions in purple. Example: kill parasitic worms; play a role in allergy and asthma
5 cards with imbalances/diseases in orange. Included are anemia, polycythemia, leukopenia, leukemia and mononucleosis and their characteristics.
7 cards with blanks to add images. You can add images from your instructor resources associated with your specific textbook or online images.
6 pages/slides with the Instructor Key
2. Student worksheet (2 pages). This is included as both a .pdf file and a Word document that is editable. This worksheet guides students through six steps using the cards, such as “Using your red cards, match the blood cell name with correct description.” As students proceed through the activity they will spread the cards out as indicated. After they have completed a step, students can record their answers on the worksheet or snap a picture with their iPad or cell phone.
3. Instructor Answer Key (2 pages). While the answer key is included in the PowerPoint presentation in a larger, individual slide format, this document minimizes the key to a two pages document for quick reference for instructors.
This activity can be used in many ways:
Prior to Instruction: Rather than presenting the different blood cells types to the students, have them take the initiative with their textbook (or online resources). After a brief overview of blood by the instructor, ask students to use the cards to match blood cell names with their characteristics. You can make this as easy or difficult for students as you wish by limiting the cards for the first time through. For example, you may wish to give students only the cards with the blood cell names and images to “mix and match”. Once students have mastered this you can add the cards with typical values, functions and imbalances.
Review after Instruction: After a presentation of the blood cells, the cards can be used to help students master the information. With the help of the instructor guide, you can “assign” each group a blood cell and then have each present their specific cell to the class.
Class Presentation: Sometimes I will assign a group of students a specific cell or imbalance/disease for which they need to match the characteristics, take pictures with their phones, put together a presentation and present it to the class. This encourages students in their mastery of course content as well as teamwork, computer skills and public speaking skills.
Exams: You can even use these cards on lab practical exams!
Grades: This activity is best used for high school students in General Biology or Anatomy and Physiology. Additionally, this activity has been used in college level Anatomy and Physiology courses. It is especially well-suited for a community college course in Anatomy and Physiology that serve as pre-requisites for nursing and other allied health fields.
Time: Due to its versatility, students could spend only 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes depending on how the instructor prefers to utilize the activity. It can also be split over two to three class periods to reinforce concepts and improve mastery.
Student Preparation: Students can either be well-prepared with a background in the blood cell types or use this activity as a “starting place” to organize the material, depending on the instructor’s preference.
Materials Needed: only a flat clean space to lay out cards (once they have been printed, laminated and cut.) I recommend having a set of cards for every group of 4-6 students.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this activity!