Forensic Blood Analysis

Teacher Page


This webquest can be used as part of a unit on Forensic Blood Analysis.  

Students should have prior knowledge of Mendelian genetics including monohybrid crosses and pedigree charts.  You can follow these instructions or create your own timeline.

Day 1:  Introduce the webquest by reading the Introduction and Task pages together in class.  Have students complete Investigation 1:  The history of blood.  Student responses may be recorded in a science notebook or use the Task worksheet found on the Process page or linked below.  

Day 2:  Students should finish Investigations 2 and 3 on the Process page.  Once they have completed the Task worksheet, they should proceed to the Conclusion page for their last assignment.  This one-page summary can be handed in for grading if you choose or have students share with the class at a later date.  

The following extension activity can be used after Investigations 2 and 3 if you choose.  This activity will engage students as they become blood cells, antigens, and antibodies and display the reactions between these molecules.  
The ABO blood groups have different reactions when mixed together.  In the following class activity, students will determine which blood types are compatible to each other and which are not. 

Class Activity:
Next, each member of your class wil be assigned a blood component from the following list and given a label ( You will need to make a sign for each student) to hold so that the rest of the class knows what you represent.      
Red blood cell with an antigen 
Red blood cell with no antigen
Antigen A
Antigen B
Antibody A
Antibody B

Step 1:   Antigens A and B must attach to a blood cell nearby.  They may attach together or separately on different cells.  To show their attachment, they must lock arms.  
Step 2:  Observation:  Are there any blood cells that do not have an antigen attached?  If so, what blood group do they represent?
Step 3:  Each blood cell must now identify whether they are Type A, Type B, Type AB, or Type O by announcing it to their class members.  
Step 4:  Antibodies A and B will now try to attach to all the red blood cells and each antigen or blood cell must tell the antibodies whether they will form a precipitate or "clump" with them or not.  
Step 5:  After 10 minutes of trying to "clump" together, students will return to their seats and discuss as a class their findings.

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