My middle school students are from a suburban, high poverty area. Many of my students have not had the opportunity to observe and do hands-on investigations as they learn about science. They tend to get excited about learning when they have the opportunity to do science in a hands-on, lab-based environment.
Middle school is a critical time when students are either engaged and "hooked" on science or lose interest in science.
Active engagement in relevant lab activities tends to "hook" inquisitive middle school students! They naturally question things that they observe and want to find out more. Investigation-based class experiences meet this need in my students.
Having actual specimens to examine will provide my students with the sensory component that will enhance their understanding of complex systems and organs.
My students will be able to work in pairs and actually see, touch, and manipulate the specimens to gain a deeper understanding of their complex components.
They will have the opportunity to examine each component in detail through a laboratory investigation that will be exciting and memorable.
The investigations exploring the eye will eliminate misconceptions about the various components. It will also allow students to see the muscle tissue that comprises the iris, in order to see how this "shutter" works. The culminating activity for our unit is the frog dissection. Working in pairs, the students will be able to see how the various organs and systems are interconnected and work together to support life functions.
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