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Recall the Main Components of Blood and Their Functions

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Image of blood composition

Did you know that your blood makes up about 7% of your total body weight?

Image of blood cells

The blood has loads of important jobs to do. Some of these include:

  • transporting oxygen to our lungs
  • transporting important nutrients to cells and tissues
  • forming blood  clots to prevent too much loss of blood
  • fighting off bacteria and other pathogens to stop us from getting sick
  • getting rid of waste products 
  • regulating our body temperature

The blood is made up of four components: 

  1. Red blood cells
  2. White blood cells
  3. Platelets 
  4. Plasma

​Each of these components has a specific function. Let's explore these further.

Red blood cells (RBC)

Image of a red blood cell

Red blood cells give the blood its bright red colour. They contain a special protein called haemoglobin which helps to collect oxygen from the alveoli in your lungs and deliver it to the cells around your body. 

Red blood cells have a biconcave shape (a bit like a doughnut) to give it a larger surface area – it makes it easier for oxygen to diffuse into the cell. Red blood cells don't have a nucleus, this makes room for more oxygen and also makes the cell more flexible allowing it to fit through small vessels in the body. 

White blood cells

Image of white blood cell

 Unlike RBCs, white blood cells contain a nucleus so are much larger than red blood cells and are fewer in number. White blood cells protect the body from infection by engulfing invading pathogens. Some white blood cells produce something called antibodies which attach to the surface of pathogens, helping to identify pathogens to be destroyed.

Platelets 

Image of platelets

Unlike red and white blood cells, platelets are not actual cells but fragments of cells. The main function is to clot blood at the site of a wound to prevent further bleeding. The platelets end up forming a scab over the wound which also prevents further infection by bacteria. 

Plasma 

Image of blood plasma

Plasma is the yellow liquid component of your blood. Its job is to carry the blood cells mentioned above along with other substances such as waste products like urea, which is transported from the kidneys to the bladder. Small, soluble products of digestion produced by the small intestine also move around the body in the plasma.  

You can think of the plasma as the water that forms a river and the fishes, frogs and alligators as being the cells that are transported by the river!

In the following activity, you will recall the main components of the blood and their functions.

The blood is made up of four components. Label the different components below.

Select one answer in each row.

 

 A Image of platelets
 B Image of red blood cell
C

 

Image of blood plasma

 

D Image of white blood cell

 

 

 

Red blood cells don't have a nucleus, they do however have a biconcave shape.

Image of a red blood cell

How do these features help the red blood cell to carry out its job? Select two answers below.

 

Biconcave shape gives a larger surface area to absorb hydrogen more efficiently

Biconcave shape gives a larger surface area to absorb oxygen more efficiently

No nucleus means it can move faster around the body.

No nucleus means more space for oxygen

White blood cells are found in the blood along with red blood cells and platelets. 

Image of white blood cell

Describe the function of white blood cells by filling in the blanks below.  

 

 

Biconcave shape gives a larger surface area to absorb hydrogen more efficiently

Biconcave shape gives a larger surface area to absorb oxygen more efficiently

No nucleus means it can move faster around the body.

No nucleus means more space for oxygen

Image of platelets

Which of the following is a feature of platelets? Select one answer.

They contain haemoglobin

They have a nucleus

They are small fragments of cells

Image of blood plasma

Blood plasma makes up about 55% of the blood.

Match up the sentences to describe other functions of blood plasma. 

 

Column A

Column B

Plasma is a yellow coloured liquid which...
...holds all the blood cells in a suspension
Urea is transported from the kidneys...
...intestine move around the body in the plasma.
Small, soluble products of digestion produced by t...
...to the bladder in the plasma.

The different components of the blood have different functions. Select one function for each component of the blood below. 

Image of blood components

What component is shown in the image below?
Image of platelets
Label the image and select its function.
 

White blood cells protect the human body from invading microorganisms.

Select two features of white blood cells. 

White blood cells are larger than red blood cells and platelets

White blood cells don't have a nuclues

White blood cells have a nucleus

White blood cells are cell fragments

The function of red blood cells is to transport an important gas to cells around the body. 

Image of red blood cells

 

What is the name of this gas that is transported to cells in the body? Select one answer.

Hydrogen

Oxygen

Carbon dioxide

The statements below describe platelets.

Complete the sentences by matching up the letters with the missing word.

  • These are small fragments of cells which don't have a     (A)       
  • They are important at making blood     (B)       and forming scabs
  • Some people are     (C)     with little or no platelets meaning the blood can't clot. 

Column A

Column B

A
Clot
B
Nucleus
C
Born
  • Question 1

The blood is made up of four components. Label the different components below.

Select one answer in each row.

 

 A Image of platelets
 B Image of red blood cell
C

 

Image of blood plasma

 

D Image of white blood cell

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Take the time to recognise the key features of the different components of the blood as you will often be asked to identify different images in your exams.
  • Question 2

Red blood cells don't have a nucleus, they do however have a biconcave shape.

Image of a red blood cell

How do these features help the red blood cell to carry out its job? Select two answers below.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Biconcave shape gives a larger surface area to absorb oxygen more efficiently
No nucleus means more space for oxygen
EDDIE SAYS
Getting more oxygen quickly, is the name of the game for red blood cells! This is where no nucleus and a biconcave shape comes in. These special features help the red blood cells be more efficient in their role.
  • Question 3

White blood cells are found in the blood along with red blood cells and platelets. 

Image of white blood cell

Describe the function of white blood cells by filling in the blanks below.  

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
White blood cells form part of our immune system and the main job of white blood cells is to protect the body from invading pathogens.
  • Question 4

Image of platelets

Which of the following is a feature of platelets? Select one answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
They are small fragments of cells
EDDIE SAYS
Platelets don't have a nucleus so they are not considered 'true' cells rather they are cell fragments. People who have too little platelets suffer from a condition called haemophilia, which means they bleed excessively and struggle to form scabs.
  • Question 5

Image of blood plasma

Blood plasma makes up about 55% of the blood.

Match up the sentences to describe other functions of blood plasma. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Plasma is a yellow coloured liqui...
...holds all the blood cells in a...
Urea is transported from the kidn...
...to the bladder in the plasma.
Small, soluble products of digest...
...intestine move around the body...
EDDIE SAYS
Plasma is the liquid part of blood and transports many substances around the body, for example, waste products like urea is removed in urine.
  • Question 6

The different components of the blood have different functions. Select one function for each component of the blood below. 

Image of blood components

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Have a go at this question a few times to consolidate your knowledge on the functions of the components of the blood.
  • Question 7
What component is shown in the image below?
Image of platelets
Label the image and select its function.
 
CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Platelets are quite distinctive in their shape- they have a star-like shape! This helps it to form a scab over a wound.
  • Question 8

White blood cells protect the human body from invading microorganisms.

Select two features of white blood cells. 

CORRECT ANSWER
White blood cells are larger than red blood cells and platelets
White blood cells have a nucleus
EDDIE SAYS
White blood cells are the larger cells of the blood and have a nucleus, unlike red blood cells and platelets.
  • Question 9

The function of red blood cells is to transport an important gas to cells around the body. 

Image of red blood cells

 

What is the name of this gas that is transported to cells in the body? Select one answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
Oxygen
EDDIE SAYS
Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to cells around the body so they can carry our respiration. This gives us energy for different processes.
  • Question 10

The statements below describe platelets.

Complete the sentences by matching up the letters with the missing word.

  • These are small fragments of cells which don't have a     (A)       
  • They are important at making blood     (B)       and forming scabs
  • Some people are     (C)     with little or no platelets meaning the blood can't clot. 
CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

A
Nucleus
B
Clot
C
Born
EDDIE SAYS
People who can\'t produce enough platelets have a condition called haemophilia. Often sufferers will have to inject a medicine that will help them to clot their blood to prevent excessivelybleeding.
---- OR ----

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