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Blood as our Delivery System

In this worksheet, students will be challenged to look more deeply into the ways in which our blood system delivers substances and removes waste.

'Blood as our Delivery System' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Animals, including Humans

Curriculum subtopic:   Transport of Water and Nutrients within Animals

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

If you've looked at the activity called "How does blood go around our bodies?" you'll know that we compared our circulation system with a school. It's helpful to think of the deliveries a school receives: lorries and vans bring food, parcels, letters, equipment; cars bring students and teachers; pipes bring water; cables bring electricity, and so on. In the same way, the school's waste needs to be removed by refuse trucks, recycling vans, drains etc.

 

The blood circulating in your body is doing much the same task: picking up the nutrients, oxygen, hormones (that's instruction-giving chemicals) our body systems need and then collecting wastes (like CO2 and urea - that's protein waste that's sent to the kidneys to be turned into urine) and delivering those to organs like lungs and kidneys to be removed (or excreted) from the body.

 

In this activity, we'll look more closely at how the blood is acting as our delivery system - and remember: whether you're you, a blackbird, a trout or an octopus, the blood does the same job.

Human blood is a mixture of lots of things. Such as...

 

- Red blood cells

- White blood cells

- Platelets (help to heal wounds)

- Plasma (pronounced "plaz-muh", this is the liquid part of the blood)

- Dissolved Chemicals (nutrients, gases, etc.)

 

The plasma is the liquid part of the blood and it's mostly water. What percentage of the plasma do you estimate is water?

45%

72%

92%

100%

Sugar is one of many nutrients that is delivered by the blood, dissolved in the blood plasma, and then delivered to the body's cells.

 

Where do you think the blood goes to pick up sugar?

Digestive system

Muscles

Liver

Skin

Sugar is one of the nutrients that is delivered by the blood to cells all around the body.

 

What does sugar provide that is needed by all these cells? Write your answer in the box provided.

Oxygen is a gas that is needed by every cell in the body to do its work: the job of the red blood cells is to carry the oxygen to the cells.

 

Red blood cells

 

Once they have used the oxygen, the body's cells dump waste carbon dioxide (CO2) into the blood. It's then dissolved in the blood plasma.

 

What is the name of the organ that the blood collects oxygen from and delivers the CO2 to?  Write your answer in the box.

Imagine a delivery lorry whizzing along the motorway. What's it got to do to deliver what's onboard?

 

Slow down and travel down the smaller road where the customer is.

 

The same is true of the blood, dissolved goodies are rushing along via the arteries. They need to be in tiny blood vessels right next to cells to deliver the goods and pick up the waste.

 

Capillaries

 

What is the name of the tiny blood vessels that run right next to the cells?

Veins

Tubules

Mini-vessels

Capillaries

We discovered earlier on that the watery part of the blood is called the blood plasma. Of course, you need water all over your body and so parts of the body that need water take it out of the plasma. There's a part of your brain that's always testing your blood to make sure there's enough water in it all the time.

 

If there's too little water it sends out a message to get you to take in more water.

 

Fill in the two missing words in this sentence:

 

Veins

Tubules

Mini-vessels

Capillaries

Ok, here's another situation. It's a really cold day, snow on the ground, you're wrapped up warm and you've got your wellies on. Trouble is, your toes get colder and colder.

 

Playing in snow

 

The blood can help get them to get warmed up and stop them from freezing, but what has it got to supply to do that?

Tea

Heat

Sugar

Water

Since we're thinking about the blood being our delivery system, you might be interested to know that your nerves are not the only way in which your body sends out instructions. Special organs can release chemicals called hormones into the blood that tell certain parts of the body to do certain things.

 

See if you can use that idea to match up these hormones with what they tell the body to do.

Column A

Column B

Growth hormone
Controls the male sexual characteristics
Adrenaline
Controls the body's growth rate
Testosterone
Gets the body ready to run - fast!
Insulin
Controls the body's sugar levels

If you've already looked at the activity called "What is blood?", then you may remember that the oxygen in your blood is carried by a type of metal that is in our red blood cells.

 

Can you remember the name of the metal?

Iron

Copper

Aluminium

Lead

Finally, you've been learning that blood is our delivery system and, as you know, the heart is what pushes the blood around the body.

 

Your task is to work out what fuel (or energy-source) is delivered to each item in the table, in order for it to work.

 

car  smartphone  seagull  TV

  • Question 1

Human blood is a mixture of lots of things. Such as...

 

- Red blood cells

- White blood cells

- Platelets (help to heal wounds)

- Plasma (pronounced "plaz-muh", this is the liquid part of the blood)

- Dissolved Chemicals (nutrients, gases, etc.)

 

The plasma is the liquid part of the blood and it's mostly water. What percentage of the plasma do you estimate is water?

CORRECT ANSWER
92%
EDDIE SAYS
Ok, so this is common in science: you probably don't know the answer, but you can use the information you do know to help you work out what it's likely to be. Above it says the blood plasma is "mostly water" so that rules out 45% as that's less than half. Also, 100% cannot be right, as that would mean all of the blood is water! So that gives you a much better chance of choosing the right answer: 92% because only 8% is the dissolved chemicals being carried in the plasma. Got it?
  • Question 2

Sugar is one of many nutrients that is delivered by the blood, dissolved in the blood plasma, and then delivered to the body's cells.

 

Where do you think the blood goes to pick up sugar?

CORRECT ANSWER
Digestive system
EDDIE SAYS
The question you need to ask yourself is, "where does sugar get into my body?" That's the mouth, of course, and then it's digested (to turn it into a soluble form that can dissolve in the blood). So the digestive system is the right answer and the other answers are all examples of where sugar is going to be taken to be delivered. What's it for, though? We'll see...
  • Question 3

Sugar is one of the nutrients that is delivered by the blood to cells all around the body.

 

What does sugar provide that is needed by all these cells? Write your answer in the box provided.

CORRECT ANSWER
energy
EDDIE SAYS
Sugar is a fantastic fuel - it's a brilliant store of energy and packs a lot into a small space. There are lots of different sorts of sugar but they provide the body with its main, everyday fuel. Since it dissolves easily in water, it dissolves in the blood plasma once it's been picked up from the gut, and then it travels in the blood to all the different body cells that need it.
  • Question 4

Oxygen is a gas that is needed by every cell in the body to do its work: the job of the red blood cells is to carry the oxygen to the cells.

 

Red blood cells

 

Once they have used the oxygen, the body's cells dump waste carbon dioxide (CO2) into the blood. It's then dissolved in the blood plasma.

 

What is the name of the organ that the blood collects oxygen from and delivers the CO2 to?  Write your answer in the box.

CORRECT ANSWER
lung
lungs
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get this one right? Where does oxygen get into the body? The lungs. Where do we get rid of carbon dioxide? The lungs. So that's where the blood goes to collect and release these gases!
  • Question 5

Imagine a delivery lorry whizzing along the motorway. What's it got to do to deliver what's onboard?

 

Slow down and travel down the smaller road where the customer is.

 

The same is true of the blood, dissolved goodies are rushing along via the arteries. They need to be in tiny blood vessels right next to cells to deliver the goods and pick up the waste.

 

Capillaries

 

What is the name of the tiny blood vessels that run right next to the cells?

CORRECT ANSWER
Capillaries
EDDIE SAYS
Arteries split, and split, and split, into blood vessels so small that they are only one-tenth the thickness of a human hair! They are called capillaries and are so small that they can run right alongside individual cells and, allow a transfer of materials. Good stuff in, waste stuff out.
  • Question 6

We discovered earlier on that the watery part of the blood is called the blood plasma. Of course, you need water all over your body and so parts of the body that need water take it out of the plasma. There's a part of your brain that's always testing your blood to make sure there's enough water in it all the time.

 

If there's too little water it sends out a message to get you to take in more water.

 

Fill in the two missing words in this sentence:

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
That makes sense, doesn't it? If your body is about 70% water, it needs a constant supply, which it takes out of your blood. In order to replenish that, your brain gives you a message: "More water needed!" You feel that as a sense of thirst, you respond by taking a drink. Haven't we got brilliant and complex bodies?!
  • Question 7

Ok, here's another situation. It's a really cold day, snow on the ground, you're wrapped up warm and you've got your wellies on. Trouble is, your toes get colder and colder.

 

Playing in snow

 

The blood can help get them to get warmed up and stop them from freezing, but what has it got to supply to do that?

CORRECT ANSWER
Heat
EDDIE SAYS
It's the obvious answer but a strange one: heat! We don't think of that as something that the blood would deliver, but the middle of your body (called your core) always maintains a steady temperature of 37°C. This ensures you are then able to supply warm blood to the cold parts of your body. Mind you, if there's any danger of your body's core losing too much heat, it's prepared to sacrifice things like fingers and toes rather than risk you dying - that's when people get frostbite and lose fingers or the tip of their nose. Ouch! I like the idea of the blood supplying a nice hot cup of tea!
  • Question 8

Since we're thinking about the blood being our delivery system, you might be interested to know that your nerves are not the only way in which your body sends out instructions. Special organs can release chemicals called hormones into the blood that tell certain parts of the body to do certain things.

 

See if you can use that idea to match up these hormones with what they tell the body to do.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Growth hormone
Controls the body's growth rate
Adrenaline
Gets the body ready to run - fast...
Testosterone
Controls the male sexual characte...
Insulin
Controls the body's sugar levels
EDDIE SAYS
Now, don't worry if you found this challenging - it's actually beyond what you need to know at KS2, but since we're dealing with what the blood is delivering, it's fun to look at another aspect of its role in your body. Anyway, it's never wasted knowledge and, in addition, questions like these can help you with question technique. So, first off, the easy one is growth hormone. That only leaves three. Maybe you've heard of one or more of the others: anyone with diabetes in the family will have heard of insulin and its role in keeping the blood sugar in check. Testosterone is well-known in developing typically male characteristics like bigger muscles, so it's sometimes (illegally) used by athletes, trying to improve their performance. Finally, if you went around the corner and saw a big dog growling at you, chances are that adrenaline would be released into your blood to tell your body to run! Great attempt.
  • Question 9

If you've already looked at the activity called "What is blood?", then you may remember that the oxygen in your blood is carried by a type of metal that is in our red blood cells.

 

Can you remember the name of the metal?

CORRECT ANSWER
Iron
EDDIE SAYS
Iron is the metal that causes our blood to be red. You'll learn that it's a part of a very important chemical in our red blood cells and its job is to pick up oxygen from the lungs and carry it to where it's required in the body. Weirdly, some molluscs and arthropods have blood that uses copper, rather than iron, to do the job; so if you chose copper, you're not far off!
  • Question 10

Finally, you've been learning that blood is our delivery system and, as you know, the heart is what pushes the blood around the body.

 

Your task is to work out what fuel (or energy-source) is delivered to each item in the table, in order for it to work.

 

car  smartphone  seagull  TV

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Ok, so this was a pretty straightforward question to finish off with! Think fuel - it's what powers the thing running. The seagull needs sugar - it might eat fish, but it'll turn parts of the digested fish into sugar for energy. The car requires petrol - like sugar, it's a high-energy fuel. The smartphone and TV run off electricity, but the smartphone uses battery power (even when it's charging up!).
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