Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about the heart, blood and the circulatory system (GCSE and Key Stage 3)
The circulatory system is all about the transportation of products and reactants for respiration; spend time making sure students understand this concept first. A great place to begin thinking about blood and the circulatory system is to make blood. Get a jug – fill it with water (plasma) add in some salts (NaCl) and glucose (sugar). Now add in some white blood cells (polystyrene), red blood cells (Cheerios stained with red dye) and platelets (plasters). Blow into the mixture some carbon dioxide and oxygen (use a straw!) Give it a good stir. Now how do we get these substances to the cells in our foot?
Adaptations of veins, arteries and capillaries
GCSE worksheet on adaptations of veins, capillaries and arteries. Students use different tubes to help them understand how veins, capillaries and arteries are adapted for their function. This activity is designed so that students have a overall understanding of blood flow first and how this links to respiration. (PDF)
GCSE worksheet on labelling heart structure. Students label four diagrams of the heart and evaluate the models from the perspectives of different individuals. This activity offers a more challenging way to introduce what can be quite a low-level task of labelling a heart. This resource was made in collaboration with Thomas Kitwood. (PDF)
Components of blood
GCSE and Key Stage 3 worksheet looking at the different components of blood. The worksheet starts by assessing prior knowledge with students having to list what substances are present in blood. We then look at a sample of blood after centrifugation and students list what substances and cells are present in each fraction. Finally we think about how blood from different people may vary. (PDF)