Exploring Body Systems Collaboratively

Science students in 4th and 7th grades recently came together for a joint dissection lab with the older scientists serving as “experts” who shared information about different body systems with their younger peers.

Earlier, 7th grade science students had already been learning about this topic. Each student studied one system in depth, presented to the full class and then shared other systems with each other during a series of class gatherings. In 4th grade, students had been studying the body only recently, so teachers Angela Miklavcic Brandon and Heather Sheahan decided to bring their classes together for a shared learning experience.

Both grade levels watched a slideshow that detailed the steps of a rat dissection lab to help prepare them for the actual experience, and the 7th grade students explored a rat dissection app on the iPad. On the day of the lab, almost 60 4th grade students separated into groups with more than 70 7th grade students in the three Middle School science classrooms. The sheer volume of simultaneous scientific learning taking place at one time was a sight to behold. At both grade levels, some students were more eager to get into the details, while others were more apprehensive. Some opted to sit out for the real experience and take part in the virtual experience on an iPad. All left with a better understanding of body systems.

Click here for photos of this lab.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.