Explore Comparative Anatomy with Frog Dissection, Part I
Every year students ask, “Are we going to dissect anything?” and every year we have answered yes. With your help, we can continue to answer yes.
What do you remember most about Life Science? Is it the textbook? Or do you remember hands-on activities and labs? Do you remember the unforgettable aroma when you think of frog dissection?
Even though technology has evolved to the point that frog dissection can be recreated with virtual images, pictures of frog dissection cannot replace a real-life experience. Dissections do have many benefits. It is an excellent activity for students to explore tissues, organs, and systems, and learn about vertebrate anatomy. Frogs possess all the major organ systems of complex vertebrates. We use it as a culminating activity in our Comparative Anatomy Unit. We challenge students to investigate similarities and differences between humans and frogs as they compare amphibians and mammals. This hands-on lab is a very tactile experience. It allows students to understand the true positioning and feel for organs that just can't be expressed in the flat format of a book or computer monitor.
Other lessons that extend beyond basic life science include learning a respect for life and proper dissection skills that will be helpful in higher level science classes.
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