Reflection: Staircase of Complexity Comparative Anatomy - How Do We Compare? - Section 3: Culminating Activity: Comparative Anatomy Essay


The NGSS and the Common Core require that students are able to make connections between prior knowledge and current curriculum.  Science education is NO LONGER a laundry list of facts to memorize and forget, rather our students are encouraged to weave their experiences together by connecting the dots of understanding to create a larger picture of science, engineering, and technology.  This writing project scaffolds student experiences with review of human anatomy followed by specimen dissections.  These experiences allow students to compare and contrast the specimens' anatomy to our human anatomy.  The writing processes reinforces scientific understanding and builds on prior knowledge.  Students begin to see that anatomical features have many similarities in various specimens despite looking different from the outside.  The concept of structure and function plays (a NGSS cross-cutting concept) an important role for students and they work to conceptualize the contrasting anatomies of our specimens and the human body.

  Connecting the Dot of Understanding
  Staircase of Complexity: Connecting the Dot of Understanding
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Comparative Anatomy - How Do We Compare?

Unit 9: Comparative Anatomy and Dissections
Lesson 1 of 10

Objective: SWABT identify similarities and differences in the hierarchical organization of interacting body systems between humans, the earthworm, the crayfish, and the rat.

Big Idea: This culminating activity will enable the students to identify and explain the similarities and differences between the structures and functions of the anatomical body systems through a well-crafted written essay.

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Science, Comparative Anatomy, anatomy, dissections, Crayfish, rat, earthworm
  370 minutes
crayfish dissection demo
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