It Takes All Types - Blood Type Lab Activity

adapted from work by Judy Barcelon

In this second of four lessons, students extend their knowledge of blood cells to learn about the different blood types. Understanding how and why blood banks test the blood supply not only provides necessary background when preparing to participate in the culminating blood drive, this lesson also provides more ideas to help them create their capstone project activity.


Using sprinkles on donuts to emulate antigens on red blood cells, students will learn the scientific basis of the 4 blood types used in blood banking ( A, B, AB and O). This lesson will prepare students for the blood drive capstone project in being able to visually demonstrate to the public why blood must be typed before being transfused. 

There is a quick lecture with visuals to help teach students how antigens and antibodies determine the success of a transfusion followed by a student generated chart to understand compatibility. Students then participate in a laboratory of mixing colors to confirm compatibility then put all of this knowledge to use in a fast paced interactive game that requires them to choose the right blood for an emergency room patient.

Lesson Times

Intro + Lab
2 Days

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Health Science and Medical Technology Health Science and Medical Technology
    • Patient Care
K-12 Subjects
  • Science
    • Life Sciences
Grade Levels
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Standards and Objectives


Next Generation Science Standards (1)
California's 2013 CTE Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will use correct medical terminology to explain basis of the 4 blood types.
  • Students will apply blood type background knowledge to a simulated hospital situation that relates to blood transfusions.

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