North Shore Middle School 8th Graders Participate in Froggy Fridays
In February 2021, 8th grade science classes at North Shore Middle School adventured across the street to North Shore High School and participated in a lab class that included the dissection of frogs.
Besides donning their masks, the eighth graders put on goggles, plastic lab coats, and gloves to participate in a hands-on lab involving the dissection of frogs that were already deceased. The students first learned that frogs are vertebrates and members of the Animal Kingdom called Phylum Chordata and members of the class called Amphibia. They live on land but return to the water to reproduce. As tadpoles, they swim in water and undergo metamorphoses to become an adult frog.
Because frogs and humans are both Chordates, they share some similarities. Many of their internal organs are the same in structure and function. During the lab, the eighth graders had the opportunity to dissect the frog to observe the external and internal structures of its anatomy. They were able to see, touch, and explore the various organs of the body while learning about how they also differ from most other Chordates (for example, they have soft moist skin).
During the lab, students had the opportunity to see its organs and comprehend how they work within the frog and other animals including themselves! During the dissection, the eighth graders were able to:
- Locate the frog’s head and eyes and label its two external nares (nostrils), two tympani (eardrums), and two eyes with nictitating membrane (third eye lid)
- Examine its hind Legs, webbed toes, and forelegs
- Touch the skin
- Locate and open the mouth; find the tongue, Eustachian tubes, and glottis
- Determine whether it was a male or female
- Dissect the frog’s internal organs (including the heart, liver, lungs, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, kidneys, and reproductive organs)
But, that’s not all! The oldest middle school students had the chance to also learn all about the different systems of the frog and determine which organs and its respective systems were similar to humans or different. They explored the following frog’s systems:
- Reproductive systems
During the lab, the students worked together in pairs during the dissection. They teamed up to answer many questions, utilized probes and scissors to dissect their frogs, labeled its organs and systems, and discovered which organs were most similar to humans and which differed. Please ask your children about this educational, hands-on learning experience. Maybe, one day, some of these children will grow up to be successful doctors and surgeons! Thank you to all of the middle school science teachers and Mr. Steven Menchel, Secondary Science Director, for engaging our eighth graders in such an informative lab experience.
Article and photos by Shelly Newman