Label the Arteries and Veins of the Circulatory System

I designed this activity to help my anatomy students learn the arteries and veins of the human circulatory system. Students have already learned the heart and basic anatomy of the system. They focus specifically on the veins and arteries as a separate unit.

They spend a few days in class learning the vessels and labeling them with guidance. This Google slide presentation pairs with the handouts that students label in class. This unit occurs after students have learned about the muscles and bones, which can be helpful because many of the names of arteries relate to those structures. For instance, the common iliac vessels are found in the area of the ileum of the pelvis.

To further reinforce these concepts, this simple worksheet asks students to think of the vessels like a map. For example, if you start at the aorta of the heart, you will find three major arteries that branch from the top and supply blood to the head and arms. The first branch is the brachiocephalic, which splits into the common carotid and subclavian. The next artery attached to the aorta is the left common carotid, and then the left subclavian.

The images in this worksheet are very basic and do not include much clutter of other body structures. Students label the worksheet by using their notes and other guides. Label positions can vary, since there are no arrows or boxes in the drawings. This encourages students to think of the “map” and not try to memorize label locations.

For a more interactive experience, students can check out system. Though, with my students, I try to focus on just the major arteries. I am also fortunate to have a 2 foot tall model of the circulatory system for students to view in class.

Resources for Learning the Arteries and Veins

*Assessments for this unit are administered using Google forms, with numbered/lettered images.