Blood Types

In life science textbooks, an introduction to blood types often includes a chart titled blood types and their markers.  Blood type O is usually indicated by a drawing of a blood cell.  The picture for Blood type A usually has shapes, such as yellow triangles around the perimeter of a blood cell. Type B would be indicated by another shape, and then type AB would have both shapes on it.  


This chart can easily be turned into a hands- on learning activity.  Cut several red circles form heavy read paper to represent the blood cells. From post-It notes TM cut several triangular shapes to represent the type A marker “molecules” from the end of the note that is sticky. Then cut another shape to indicate the B markers. We used squares. The background of a black table or paper works well for great contrast for a student with low vision. For a student with little useful vision, a tray helps organize and contain the pieces which are easy to handle when made out of thick paper. 


  • Paper circles
  • Paper marker molecules to indicate A or B
  • Black paper, if needed
  • Tray


Blood Type AB(The student will)

1. Examine the circles and markers, identifying the “blood cells” and each of the markers.

2. Place the triangle markers around one of the blood cells indicating that those are the A markers.

3. Place the square markers around another blood cell describing those as the B markers.

4. Remove the A and B markers and place both A and B markers around another Blood cell to create a model of type AB blood.

5. Identify that the marker molecules on your red blood cells determine your blood type and the type of blood that can safely be received in transfusions.

6. After reading the text and class discussion, choose a blood type and identify which other blood types that person could safely receive in a transfusion. Explain why. 


  • Depending on time available for the lessons, additional reading and discussion could explore the clumping proteins, anti-B; Anti-A etc.  
  • A tactile chart including those may be helpful.  Rh factor is another important topic, as well as the genetics of blood types. 
  • Labels in large print and braille could be added to each model.

NGSS Standards: 


Structure and function: All living things are made up of cells. In organisms, cells work together to form tissues and organs that are specialized for particular body functions. (Grades 6 -8)


Inheritance of traits:Genes chiefly regulate a specific protein, which affect an individual’s traits. (Grades 6-8)


Collage of blood types