Life Science

Which Disections are best

We are working on the body systems. What organs are great for disection for middle school students? I can accesss cow or pig organs. Is there a good website that explains disection steps to students easily? Thanks

Joann Blumenfeld
Joann Blumenfeld
2660 Activity Points

Hey Joann, Happy New Year! I too am currently on body systems; starting skeletal and muscular systems tomorrow. I was able to get cow femur bones from the local butcher for an observation lab. We have no dissection kits, so I'm planning on reserving the computer lab for several virtual dissections. Just also searched tonight for iPad dissection apps... They're not free, but if you have the iPads and funds, each app is about $2-$3. If you look under the Education tab >> Life Science >> Anatomy, there are dissection apps for frogs, rats, and worms. Where do you get your organs? I haven't tried this yet, but my mentor years back mentioned using chicken wings to study how the skeletal and muscular systems work together. This might be a cheaper way to get those dissections and connections in. My question is, for those who have used chicken wings for lab, what are the safety precautions? I'm assuming it's the usual gloves, goggles, aprons and bleach solution. Am I missing anything else? Happy exploring, Cheska

Cheska Robinson
Cheska Lorena
5025 Activity Points

BTW just did this quick search, and if you're using cow eyes... Exploratorium has a video and downloadable PDF on how to dissect: http://www.exploratorium.edu/learning_studio/cow_eye/doit.html

Cheska Robinson
Cheska Lorena
5025 Activity Points

Hi Joann, I think dissecting a cow or pig's heart would be helpful for middle schoolers. It is a tough muscle. You will need a scalpel or dissecting scissors to cut it open. Middle schoolers also love to dissect an eye as well. This can be a messy dissection because of the vitreous humor (the jelly like substance in the eye). I would recommend using gloves for both dissections.

Ruth Hutson
Ruth Hutson
62750 Activity Points

Here's some directions for a pig heart: http://www.wfu.edu/~claybrsd/grad/5420final/labinstructions.pdf

Patty McGinnis
Patricia McGinnis
25410 Activity Points

Hi all, When I taught 7th grade science we dissected a fetal pig for body systems. My advanced classes worked in small groups, but for my other classes, it was more appropriate (and a safe learning experience) for me to do the dissection on the document camera and project it to the class. I don't know how feasible it is for your location, but I buy through Carolina Biological, http://www.carolina.com/ and they have a wealth of resources to supplement their products when you purchase. As well, they have options for preservative types, and claim the pigs were collected humanely as stillborns from NC's booming hog industry, though I have never researched to see whether this is true. I now teach 6th grade science and we dissect cow eyes (also through Carolina Biological) for the unit on light and the human eye. My students have successfully and safely been able to do this in lab groups. I used the exploratorium web site (mentioned in a response above) to introduce the dissection and equipment the day before the lab. It is quite nice because it is broken into sections so I can discuss with my students in between each step. As well, it gets a lot of the "gross" factor out of the kids prior to the dissection! :) If you are looking into frogs, I know the SmartBoard software has a neat virtual dissection. HOpe this helps!

Jennifer Glass
Jennifer Webber
770 Activity Points

I have dissected chicken wings twice and I absolutely love it and the students do too. It is an easy (and cheap) dissection that isn't too "icky". I call it my gateway dissection. This year I soaked the wings in dilute bleach solution for an hour first and then students wore gloves and safety glasses. Our dissection tools are pretty dull so that is a drawback, maybe just regular scissors would work better to cut the skin back and cut the tendons. I show a quick video from a youtube search to show them what to do and then they draw and label as they dissect. It may not be exotic, but a chicken wing dissection has a lot of value.

Sherry Burch
Sherry Burch
1160 Activity Points

Jennifer, I have an ActivBoard. Do you think that virtual frog dissection is available on Promeatheans too? I've tried free online dissections, but there's ads :(

Cheska Robinson
Cheska Lorena
5025 Activity Points

I think I'd like to maybe see if anyone has had a discussion on here about deciding IF they should do dissections.

Devin Bowen
Devin Bowen
40 Activity Points

There are resources for virtual dissection if you do not want to do actual dissections.

Mary Maddox
Mary Maddox
140 Activity Points

There is an organization called animalearn that has FREE dissection alternatives that you can borrow. You may want to check them out.

Patty McGinnis
Patricia McGinnis
25410 Activity Points

Joann, Here in Hawaii we have a lot of streams and guess what is easily accessible from the stream? Toads! When i was in high school, our biology teacher asked those of us that could go out into the local rivers and streams, to catch and bring in live toads for dissection. I am not sure if this is good or ethical practice, but it really got me engaged and to be honest, grossed out and i also felt bad. All humor aside, i found it to be extremely engaging because these toads are something you see and don't really pay attention to unless they are dead and run over on the road. However, when you actually are able to open one up and see how their organs work, especially the heart and how it can keep beating as long as it's in saline solution, is really amazing. Sorry if this was inappropriate or disturbing, but this was a lab that i still remember in detail especially because i went out and hunted quite a few toads for dissection.

Mitchell Miho
Mitchell Miho
3090 Activity Points

As a non-biology teacher I myself would vote for virtual dissections rather than actual organisms. I even did viva-section in high school and up to dissection of a fetal pig in college. All of this tuaght me nothing and in my opinion as a science teacher and working in science labs, nothing I did to these animals helped me in any way for my future. Perhaps if you were entering a biological field it might be useful but otherwise I think it is not necessary. Adah

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101490 Activity Points

here are some great websites that I have found: http://www.whitman.edu/content/virtualpig/anatomical-references/dorsal-and-ventral http://www.napavalley.edu/people/briddell/Documents/BIO%20105/Fetal%20Pig%20Dissection%20Directions%20100501.1.pdf http://www.hometrainingtools.com/pig-dissection-project/a/1320/ Hope this works!

Rhode Labranche
Rhode Labranche
4180 Activity Points

There are different ways to do it here are some steps 1. http://animal.discovery.com/pets/healthy-pets/how-to-put-your-cat-on-a-diet.htm 2. https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy There are fun and easy to do

Marie Samba
Marie Samba
3635 Activity Points

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