Health Science | High School | Medical Terminology
4 Best Medical Terminology Activities for High School
For nearly 10 years, Bri has focused on creating content to address the questions and concerns educators have about teaching classes, preparing students for certifications, and making the most of the AES curriculum system.
Knowing medical terms is crucial for success in the healthcare workplace. Because of this, you need to be sure your students have those terms down pat!
As a health science curriculum provider, teachers have told us that medical terminology is one of the most difficult subjects to teach.
While you could stick with in-class lectures and flashcards for memorizing, that’s not always the best way for your students to learn (and retain) information. With something as critical as medical terminology, you can do more!
That’s why it’s a great idea to add medical terminology activities to your curriculum.
But where do you start?
To help you out, we’ve pulled together the four best places to find medical terminology activity ideas for high school students:
- Medical Terminology Bingo from Sheila Saenz
- Medical Terminology Domino Cards from Surviving Science
- Medical Terminology Bundle from Organized Anatomy
- Medical Terminology Module from HealthCenter21
Each option could take your lessons to the next level, but the resources all provide something a little different.
Pick and choose which one(s) will work best in your classroom to help your students excel with medical terminology!
1. Medical Terminology Bingo from Sheila Saenz
Sheila Saenz is a health science instructor in California who shares resources on CTE Online — a website built to help CTE educators share ideas and find curriculum resources.
One of the resources Sheila has shared on the site is a Medical Terminology Bingo class activity. To access this activity, teachers need to make a free account with CTE Online.
The base of this activity is to help students learn to pronounce terms, spell them correctly, and know their meaning -- all in a fun, interactive way!
Everything you need to run this exercise is included in the lesson plan. Sheila gives the full instructions (and some extra tips), plus the handouts you’ll need. Overall this activity fills one 45-minute class period, but it’s flexible enough to fit into any amount of time you need.
What’s great about Medical Terminology Bingo is that you could use it in many different ways. It could be the perfect activity to introduce your medical terminology unit, or you can use it to wrap up the unit as a final reinforcing activity. You could even play bingo multiple times throughout your medical terminology lessons and use different terms each time.
This is a great activity that gets the entire class engaged in a focused activity to help them learn (and retain) the terms. If you like the hands-on game style of bingo and want more ideas like this one, check out the next activity on our list!
2. Medical Terminology Domino Cards from Surviving Science
Surviving Science is a publisher on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) -- an online marketplace where educators share, sell, and buy resources.
While Surviving Science mostly provides resources for science teachers, they have a number of products for medical terminology. One of the most popular ones is the Intro to Anatomy & Physiology / Medical Terminology Domino Cards Game.
The download includes 14 pages of domino cards, plus an answer key you can use to quickly check student work.
The game works by having students use “connect” the “dominos” by matching up medical terms and their meanings. After completing the game, students should have a continuous line of terms and meanings.
While the game is simple, you will need to do a bit of prep work of cutting out the pieces before you can use them in the classroom.
The best part about this activity is the many different ways you can use it.
Some teachers have students complete the activity individually. This is a great idea if your students have a good grasp of all of the terms included.
On the flip side, you could have students break into small teams and work together to be the first to correctly complete the game.
No matter how you use it, this activity is a fun, interactive way for students to review medical terms.
Though if you’re searching for activity ideas, it’s a good bet you may want more than just one game. If that’s true, check out the next item on our list!
3. Medical Terminology Bundle from Organized Anatomy
Organized Anatomy is another seller on Teachers Pay Teachers specializing in medical terminology and anatomy and physiology activities for high school classrooms.
The Medical Terminology Bundle is an extensive collection of medical terminology activity worksheets that review over 600 of the most common terms students need to know to succeed in health science.
The bundle includes 43 pages of worksheets organized by body system:
- Basic Word Parts
- Body Organization
- The Skeletal System
- The Muscular System
- The Integumentary System
- The Digestive System
- The Urinary System
- The Nervous System
- The Sensory System
- The Lymphatic System
- The Endocrine System
- The Circulatory System
- The Reproductive System
- The Respiratory System
- First Responder Vocabulary
- CPR/AED Vocabulary
Since the worksheets take a system-by-system approach, they can fit easily into your existing medical terminology lessons. The two additional worksheets on First Responder and CPR/AED vocabulary could be a helpful review for students who are considering the NREMT EMR certification.
The Organized Anatomy Medical Terminology Bundle is available for $22.50. But the cost could prove a worthwhile investment when your students can remember their vocabulary for every body system.
4. Medical Terminology Games from Heather Thomas
Heather Thomas is a former educator from Texas with almost twenty years of teaching experience. At the 2021 Texas Health Occupations Association (THOA) conference in College Station, Heather gave a presentation on how to teach medical terminology in a more engaging way.
Video: 4 Medical Terminology Learning Games to Increase Engagement and Information Retention
To ensure students understand crucial medical terminology, Heather recommends four classroom games to help students recall and commit terms to memory:
- Medical Terminology Pictionary - Students draw pictures and try to identify the correct term.
- Medical Terminology Relay Race - Learners correctly identify medical terms before running to the next station.
- Funny Stories with Medical Terms - Students learn common abbreviations by writing short stories with med terms.
- Medical Terminology Candy Toss - Throwing candy to students who successfully identify terms during an exam review session.
These activities are effective because they incentivize the learning process and employ active learning techniques to aid memorization. To learn more about implementing these games in your classes, read the entire article: 4 Engaging Medical Terminology Games to Boost Student Motivation.
Learn How Thousands of Educators Teach Medical Terminology
Becoming fluent in medical terminology is essential for students seeking success in the CTE health science pathway. Even though memorizing terms can be difficult, you can use any of these great medical terminology activities to help your learners master the material.
However, you may be looking to do more with teaching medical terminology as part of your larger health science curriculum. If this sounds like you, consider reviewing the Medical Terminology module in HealthCenter21 from AES.
This module provides an introduction to the language of health care workers including root words, suffixes, prefixes, abbreviations, and body planes, directions, and cavities. Students learn to add prefixes and suffixes, form phrases with abbreviations, and interpret medical terms.
Plus, it’s part of a comprehensive health science curriculum that thousands of teachers use in their health careers programs.
To discover how HealthCenter21 can help you teach medical terminology, visit the Medical Terminology module page for more information.