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Red Gold - The Epic Story of Blood Education - Lesson Plan 1
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Lesson Plan 1: Exploring the Complexity of Blood

Procedures for Teachers

Building Background:

Activity One

The purpose of this activity is to provide students with initial vocabulary knowledge regarding blood.

1. Divide the class into small groups to visit the Glossary section of the Web site. Each group is responsible for defining four terms from the glossary, and creating a visual representation of each term.

2. Ask each small group to share its work with the class. Post all group work on a wall that may be used as a shared reference throughout the remainder of the lesson activities.

Activity Two

The purpose of this activity is to activate students' background knowledge on this topic.

1. Have the students take the Blood IQ Test.

2. After completing the quiz, ask the students to answer the following questions in writing:

  • What fact was most interesting to you?

  • What surprised you the most?

  • What would you like to learn more about?
3. Ask each student to choose one element from the Blood IQ Test and prepare a one-page summary of the topic.

4. Compile individual reports into a book to be used as a class information source. This may also be done by posting the summaries on a class Web site.


Activity One

The purpose of this activity is to provide students with an understanding of the human circulatory system.

1. Read the following scenario to the students:

I am a student teacher for a fourth grade class. I am trying to teach them about the heart. There are so many different terms to learn, and many of the students are confused about how the circulatory system functions. Can you build me a model of the heart that will help me teach my students more effectively?

Divide the students into small groups and ask each group to create a model of the heart. This may be done using a variety of materials. The following is a list of resources that may be helpful to the students in learning about the heart prior to building their models:

2. After each group has finished, it should present its work to the class. If possible, present the projects to a class of younger students. After the presentations, ask the students for input as to what was most effective about each model as a teaching tool. Compare and discuss various ways to learn and present new information.

Activity Two

The purpose of this activity is to provide students with an understanding of the historical figures who impacted our knowledge about blood.

1. As a class, visit the Blood History Timeline section of the Web site.

2. Ask the students to work in pairs. Each pair should choose one of the influential figures represented in the timeline to learn more about.

3. Ask each pair to create a mock interview based on the person it has selected. The students' interviews should include the following:

  • highlight significant events in the person's life

  • provide historical context

  • show how the person's work furthered our knowledge of blood
4. Each pair should act out its written interview.

Activity Three

The purpose of this activity is to examine how culture impacts science.

1. As a class, discuss key events from the film RED GOLD that impacted the development of blood donation. Focus the discussion on the role of race in blood donation throughout history.

  • How does culture affect the climate in which a scientist works? Can you think of examples from the film? Can you think of examples from society today?

  • How do historical events (such as wars, etc.) impact science? Can you think of examples from the film?

  • Why were transfusions banned for such a long time?

  • How does prejudice in society impact medical research? Can you think of examples from society today?

  • How did different ethnic groups have different perspectives regarding blood?
2. Ask the students to conduct research to learn about blood banks. Use the following Web sites to begin researching:

3. Ask the students to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper expressing their opinion on the topic of blood transfusions. They may choose to take on the role of one of the following people or they may choose to create their own character:

  • The mother of an African American soldier in WWII

  • An AIDS patient

  • A medical student

  • A Red Cross worker

  • A physician in the 1600s

  • The director of a blood bank
4. Ask the students to share their letters with the entire class.

Extension Activity:

Activity One

1. Ask the students to choose an article from the Blood Basics section of the Web site and create a news article summarizing key events. The students may work individually or in small groups. Ask the students to share what they have learned with the entire class.

In This Section
Lesson Plan 1
Lesson Plan 2
Discussion Guide

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