Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Top 5 Reason Why You Should Do Dissection in Your Classroom (and a Freebie)

Whew what a busy week!  It's nice to be back after April vacation but it's always the longest week.  Before break we were dissecting frogs as a culminating activity on the human body.  If you're not sold on dissecting... here are the top 5 reason on why you should do dissection in your classroom.

#5 Hands-on Learning!  
This is the obvious one... students can apply what they learn about the human body and see it first hand on the frog!

#4 The Smell! 
I know... I know this one doesn't seem like a reason to convince you!  However... if you did any dissection in high school or in the middle school years you remember how horrible the smell was.  However, now you can order frogs that are not kept in formaldehyde... so the smell isn't so bad.  The activity is worth the minor smell for a few days!


#3 The Curiosity that Comes Alive!
My rule for dissection is that students don't have to be the ones to cut, but they do have to observe.  I tell them that if they don't want to cut they need to find a willing buddy to do the dissecting part.  It's amazing because by the end of class every students is involved and curious about the dissection.  This year I used a paper frog first, which generated a ton of curiosity with students.  The one I used is from Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy, it was easy and the kids LOVED it!  The picture below shows the kids dissecting with their science notebooks open to the paper frog they had made before hand.

#2 This can be done as a large group or in small groups
There are few lessons where you get to choose large group or small groups and still have every students focus and engaged.  In my classroom we are able to get enough frogs so that students can choose to be in groups of two to four.  Most of my students picked to be in groups of twos or threes.  However, this activity could lend itself to do it as a large group.  You could purchase one frog and dissect it under a document camera.  I would still allow students that wanted to do the dissecting, that way it still gives them some hands on experience with the frog.  Another bonus to whole group means it can still be done even if you don't have funding for every two to three kids to have their own frog.
#1 It aligns so well with the Human Body!
And here is where my freebie comes in... Dissection Organization at it's best!  I did two days of dissection and the first day I didn't use this sheet... For the second day I found this idea on Pinterest,  there was no link just a picture, so I created a sheet my kiddos could use.  Check it out in my TpT Store.  It gave the space for the kids to find all of the organs and allowed me to do a quick assessment that they were able to see it all.  At the end of the day were were able to do a gallery walk and see everyones dissections and how the organs differed in different sexes, as well as different specimens.

I am hoping this helps you and that you'll be willing to try dissection in your classroom.
Let me know in the comments if you have any great tips when you're dissecting.

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