Learn about the Blood Using Graphic Organizers


I created this concept map to help students learn the different types of blood cells and their main functions. Beginning biology students usually only learn about red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Older anatomy students will learn more detailed information about the types of white blood cells. They even examine simulated blood to estimate hematocrit.

In addition to learning important vocabulary words, like eosinophil and lymphocytes, these maps help students mentally organize concepts. Hence, why they are called concept maps! I tell students to look at it like a puzzle where they are figuring out where the words fit. This worksheet has a word bank, but you could remove it for an extra challenge.

I don’t normally grade this type of assignment, but rather give students 15-20 minutes to work on it independently. Then I display the map on the overhead and go over the answers. I stress to students that the learning happens as they try to do it themselves. To encourage independent work, I’ll walk around the class, and pick someone to write the answers on the board. Students love writing on whiteboards! Alternatively, students can complete the Google slides version on their devices.

I created this assignment for reinforcement which students complete after the lecture and guided notes. This one does not take as long as the student-generate blood concept map where they design their own concept map. To be fair, I believe student generated maps are better for student learning, particularly if students work together on them. Neon expo markers on black lab tables can be a great way for students to get creative!

After students have a good foundation with this topic and understand concepts like hematocrit and CBC’s, they can move onto a more challenging activity. The Blood Case Study activity will challenge students to diagnose patients based on their blood counts and reported symptoms. If possible, I try to align this chapter with a school blood drive and encourage students to donate blood.

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