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Content Overview

How do we fit into the ecological system?

The major emphasis of this unit is for students to become aware of some basic ecological concepts.

Students

  • consider how they fit into the ecological system.
  • consider and analyze how they affect their local or global environment.
  • realize that their actions or decisions affect others.

The unit provides an introduction to ecology for middle school students. The unit begins with topics that are likely to be relevant to a typical student, such as energy in the human body. Increasingly broader topics are then introduced. These topics range from the way natural communities function to the ways that humans affect the global environment. The last section introduces the field of conservation biology, which includes ways to prevent the loss of biodiversity.

You can use this unit in many different ways. Some teachers who participated in its field testing used the unit to kick off the school year. Some field-test teachers used it to finish the year. Others incorporated parts of the unit into their science curriculum throughout the year. Like the other units in HumBio, the Ecology unit is designed as a dynamic, interactive learning tool for both the teacher and the students. You can follow this Teacher's Guide as it is organized. Or you can take apart the Teacher's Guide; select the activities, projects, and discussion opportunities you feel are right for your class; and blend them with your current middle school science curriculum.

Students have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on, activity-centered curriculum. The curriculum offers the students a wide range of learning experiences. In addition to the hands-on activities, the learning experiences in which they are immersed include discussions, laboratory investigations, role-playing exercises, writing opportunities, and dramatic and creative art projects. All of the activity-based experiences are designed to increase student knowledge of science content, reinforce the concepts being presented, and enhance student problem-solving and decision-making abilities.

Section 1: You and the Environment introduces students to their environment, which is defined as everything outside the body that affects us or that we affect, and begins their exploration of the environment and the study of ecology.

Section 2: Food Chains: How Energy Gets to You explores the movement of energy throughout the environment. Students investigate the importance of the sun since almost all energy on Earth originates with our sun. They then explore the movement of energy as it is passed from organism to organism along a food chain.

Section 3: Energy Flow in a Community continues to explore the flow of energy in a community, a flow that can take many interrelated paths. In their investigations, students learn that the amount of useful energy decreases at each step in a food chain.

Section 4: Cycling introduces cycling and the concept that all resources (except energy, which tends to diffuse) are cycled in undisturbed ecosystems.

Section 5: Cycling in Biological Communities examines the differences between undisturbed and disturbed ecosystems. Students investigate the concept that resources cycle in undisturbed ecosystems but may be lost in disturbed ones.

Section 6: Recycling in Human Communities explores the benefits of recycling and the concept that recycling is an attempt by humans to cycle their resources in much the same way that resources cycle in undisturbed ecosystems.

Section 7: Resources, Niches, and Habitats explores the needs of organisms for specific resources in specific amounts in order to survive and reproduce.

Section 8: Species Interactions examines the effects species of living organisms, including humans, have on one another. Students investigate how species, including humans, affect other species in both positive and negative ways.

Section 9: Human Population Growth introduces the impact humans have on the environment. Students investigate how humans alter the environment greatly and how the impact is proportional both to the number of humans and to how they use their resources.

Section 10: Global Change explores global changes and their effects. Students investigate how humans alter the environment on continental and worldwide scales.

Section 11: Defining Biological Diversity introduces the concept of biological diversity. Students explore biological diversity as the variety of living organisms that occurs at all levels of life, including the levels of genes, species, and habitats.

Section 12: Conserving Biological Diversity examines various ways that humans can prevent the loss of biological diversity.

Section 13: Conclusion: You and the Environment brings students full cycle to where they began the unit. They investigate the ways they can make a difference by “Thinking Globally-Acting Locally.”

Why teach this unit?

This unit addresses two different but related topics: ecology and the environment. The unit explores how these topics are related. For example, the unit provides basic information about energy flow and the cycling of resources, which is a traditional area of study in ecology. Then the unit goes deeper to show that programs such as garbage recycling are human attempts to conserve energy and other resources, which are the traditional concerns of environmentalists.

Environmental issues are becoming increasingly complex. For this reason it is important for every student to have a solid background in ecology so that he or she may evaluate environmental issues independently. As citizens, students will be involved in making decisions about more difficult environmental issues than cleaning up dirty water or smoggy air. Some problems, such as lead contamination along highways or the extinction of a single species, may be less visible or without immediate consequences. Other environmental issues will involve long-term problems such as the depletion of aquifers in 50 to 100 years.

Summary Questions for the Unit

It is important that students, and everyone for that matter, focus on what they want to learn in order to stay on track with specific goals in mind. For that reason, it may be helpful to pose these broad questions to the students and ask them to keep the questions in their minds and even in their notebooks or their journals as they investigate the world around them. You might want to write these questions on poster board and post them in the front of the room while the class works with this unit.

What is your environment and how do you affect it?

Your environment is everything that is outside your body that affects you or that you affect. This idea is the basis of this unit and emphasizes that everyone's relationship to the environment is a two-way interaction.

What factors affect the distribution and abundance of organisms?

This question is the ultin1ate question of ecology. Ecologists study where organisms are found, why they are found there, how many there are, and what factors bring this about.

Unit Activities and Key Ideas
Section Key Ideas Activity

1. You and the Environment

What is your environment and how is it related to ecology?

  • Your environment is everything outside your body that effects you or that you affect.
Activity 1-1: Map your Environment

2. Food Chains: How Energy Gets to You

Where do you get the energy to live?

  • Almost all energy originates with the sun.
  • Energy is passed from organism to organism along a food chain.

Activity 2-1: Draw a Food Chain

Mini Activity: Photosynthesis and Respiration Play

Enrichment 2-1: What Do Owls Eat?

3. Energy Flow in a Community

How does energy flow through the biological community?

  • The flow of energy in a community can take many interrelated paths.
  • The amount of useful energy decreases at each step.

Activity 3-1: Classifying the Players in a Willow Forest

Mini Activity: Draw Your Community

Mini Activity: Draw the Community of a Largemouth Bass

Mini Activity: What Can You Add to the Web?

Enrichment 3-1: Food Web Game

Enrichment 3-2: The Energy Game

4. Cycling

Why don't natural systems run out of the materials they need?

  • All resources (except energy, which tends to diffuse) are cycled in undisturbed ecosystems.

Activity 4-1: A Day in the Life of A Water

Enrichment 4-1: What Goes Up Must Come

Enrichment 4-2: Water Underground

Mini Activity: A Day in the Life of a Carbon Atom

Mini Activity: Create a Cycle Poster

5. Cycling in Biological Communities

How do resources cycle in a forested watershed?

  • Resources cycle in undisturbed ecosystems but may be lost in disturbed ones.

Activity 5-1: Go with the Flow: Hubbard Brook Watershed

Mini Activity: How Do Scientists Know?

6. Recycling in Human Communities

How can humans cycle their resources?

  • Recycling is an attempt by humans to cycle their resources in much the same way that resources cycle in undisturbed ecosystems.

Activity 6-1: What's in Your Garbage and Where Does It Go?

Mini Activity: Draw a Paper Cycle

Mini Activity: Overpackaging

7. Resources, Niches and Habitats

What are the things you, or any organisms, need to survive?

  • Organisms need specific resources in specific amounts in order to survive and reproduce.

Activity 7-1: Too Many Bobcats

Enrichment 7-1: What's in a Niche?

Mini Activity: Define the Niche of an Animal

8. Species Interactions

How do different species affect one another?

  • Species, including humans, affect other species in both positive and negative ways.

Activity 8-1: Once Upon on Oak Tree

Enrichment 8-1: Predator/Prey Relationships

Mini Activity: How Do I Interact with Other Species?

9. Human Population Growth

How do humans affect other species?

  • Humans alter the environment greatly.
  • Human impact is proportional to both the number of humans and how they use their resources.
Activity 9-1: Brush Rabbit Boom

10. Global Change

How do the activities of humans affect the environment on continental and worldwide scales?

  • Humans alter the environment on continental and worldwide scales.
Activity 10-1: Feeling the Heat: The Greenhouse Effect

11. Defining Biological Diversity

What is biological diversity?

  • Biological diversity is the variety of living organisms that occurs at all levels of life, including the levels of genes, species, and habitats.

Activity 11-1: Expedition to the Kalimantan Rain Forest

Mini Activity: Count Your Habitats

Mini Activity: Local Species

Enrichment 11-1: Measuring Species Diversity

Enrichment 11-2: Extinction Crisis

Enrichment 11-3: How Do You Value Biodiversity?

12. Conserving Biological Diversity

How do species become extinct and what can humans do to prevent this loss of biodiversity?

  • Humans can prevent the loss of biological diversity.

Activity 12-1: Design a Nature Reserve

Enrichment 12-1: Endangered Species-Do or Die

Mini Activity: Create a Wildlife Refuge

13. Conclusion: You and the Environment

What is your environment and how is it related to ecology?

  • You make a difference (think globally, act locally).
Activity 13-1: Map Your Environment, Revisited

Teacher's Guide Overview

This Ecology unit is built around a variety of student activities. Text material can be used to introduce, reinforce, and extend the concepts developed in the activities. The activities are the foundation of this unit, so the unit's success depends on students' involvement in the activities. Embedded activities are interrelated, since the concepts developed in one may be applied in another.

Section Planning

For each section, you'll find extensive advance planning for the student activities and the section topic. Key ideas, section objectives, background information, suggestions for introducing activities, and the materials needed for each activity are listed on the Section Planning page. Review this information ahead of time to ensure that materials for each activity are available when you need them.

Support for Embedded Activities

Embedded activities are those activities contained or “embedded” in the student edition. Procedures for each embedded activity are contained in the student edition. In the Teacher's Guide, you'll find activity planning information, activity assessment, and student reproducible pages for each embedded activity.

Enrichment Activities

Enrichment activities are activities found in the Teacher's Guide. These activities are designed to extend and enrich students' learning experiences. Complete Enrichment activities, including Teacher Activity Notes and the student procedures and reproducible pages, are located at the end of each appropriate section of the Teacher's Guide.

GroupWork Activities

Learning science is a process that is both individual and social. Students in science classrooms often need to interact with their peers to develop a knowledge of scientific concepts and ideas, just as researchers, engineers, mathematicians, and physicians who are working in teams do to answer questions and to solve problems. The Group Work activities of the HumBio Curriculum for Middle Grades have been developed to foster a collaborative environment for groups of students. Students plan experiments, collect and review data, ask questions and offer solutions, use data to explain and justify their arguments, discuss ideas and negotiate conflicting interpretations, summarize and present findings, and explore the societal implications of the scientific enterprise. In short, Group Work activities provide an environment in which students are “doing science” as a team.

For more information, refer to “Using GroupWork Activities” on TE. The specific GroupWork activities for this unit can be found beginning on TE.

Projects

The research and action projects in HumBio are varied and provide students with time to explore a particular topic in depth. With Projects, students have the opportunity to take a position based on knowledge gained through research, debate an issue, and devise a plan of action. In this way, students can apply what they are learning to larger issues in the world around them.

Projects for this unit include

  • Research Questions and Action Projects
  • Population Boom or Bust
  • Species Diversity of Birds

Assessment Overview

Within each section of the unit there are suggestions for assessment that can be used individually or in combination to develop a complete assessment package. The list below describes the variety of assessment tools provided.

Apply Your Knowledge Questions appear throughout each section. They can be used as homework assignments and as ways to initiate a class discussion. These Questions are designed to assess

  • communication skills
  • depth of thought and preparation
  • problem-solving skills
  • ability to apply concepts to related or big ideas
  • how well students relate their new knowledge to different problems

What Do You Think?

These Questions appear in each section. They provide students with opportunities to think and write about the concepts they are learning in a larger context. You can use these Questions to assess

  • writing skills
  • problem-solving abilities
  • creativity and depth of thought
  • the ability to analyze and summarize

Journal Writing prompts are suggested throughout the unit. These prompts provide opportunities for students to write critically and creatively about concepts and issues. The writing products can be used to assess

  • writing skills
  • depth of thought
  • and the ability to explain and expand concepts

Review Questions

Review Questions are located at the end of each section. These Questions can be used for written responses or as the basis for class discussion. These Questions are designed to assess content knowledge and whether students can explain the concepts explored in the section.

Activity-Based Assessment

Inquiry-based student-centered activities are the foundation of the Human Biology Program. The unit is rich with relevant exciting activities that introduce, support, or reinforce concepts students are exploring. Within the Teacher's Guide, you'll find extensive teacher information, including assessment strategies, for each type of activity:

  • Embedded Activities
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Mini Activities
  • GroupWork
  • Projects

You can use students' products to assess their progress. These products include models, simultaneous, observations and reports of laboratory investigations, role plays, written responses to questions and written observations, student-designed explorations and procedures, poster presentations and classroom presentations.

PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT

You may want to have your students develop a portfolio for the unit. Portfolio assessment is an excellent way to assess the whole student as he or she progresses throughout the unit. Although there are many opportunities to select a variety of the student's products, the following list shows one possible assessment portfolio for this unit:

  • Written responses to three What Do You Think? questions
  • An analysis of their two favorite Activities and how those activities helped then understand an important concept
  • Two examples of creative writing from the following:
Activity 4-1: A Day in the Life of a Water Molecule; Enrichment 12-1: Endangered Species-Do or Die
  • A videotape of the Mini Activity: Photosynthesis/Respiration Play
  • A report from three laboratory investigations, such as Enrichment 2-1, Enrichment 4-1, and Enrichment 11-1
  • One example of an artistic creation such as Mini Activity: Cycle Posters
  • An analysis or interpretation of three graphs from various activities

Getting Started

Keep Students Interested. Encourage the students to read the text. Every effort was made to make the text interesting to students and appropriate to their reading level.

This unit is built around a set of student activities. Text material can be used to introduce, reinforce, and/or extend the concepts addressed in the activities. The success of this unit depends on completion of the activities. Some activities are related since the data obtained in one may be used in another.

Plan Ahead. The entire unit is activity based. You can select the activities that best fit your class. The activities are listed in the Unit Matrix. Some activities called Mini Activities are short and can be done individually with minimal teacher input. The Mini Activities are located in the margin of the student edition. The embedded activities in the student text are longer activities or laboratory investigations that require some planning or setup time. Other laboratory investigations called Enrichment Activities are located at the end of each section in the Teacher's Guide. These Enrichment Activities greatly enhance student knowledge of the concept explored in the section.

A variety of projects were designed to accompany the unit. These include ongoing class projects, school projects, and/or community projects. These projects are found at the end of the Teacher's Guide.

Customize the Unit. Teaching timelines are provided on TE pages xxii-xxv. The first timeline on TE page xxii demonstrates how to complete this unit within a six-week schedule. The timeline on TE page xxiv demonstrates how to complete this unit within an eight-week schedule. These timelines highlight the essential activities you may want to use if class time is limited. If your class has time to study ecology over a- longer period of time or throughout the school year, many additional activities are available.

Allow Time for Projects. Consider having students start projects at the beginning of the unit and then prepare those projects for presentation as a culminating event. When possible, encourage students to use computers and the Internet as resources for simulation and interactive programs and as sources that enhance the presentation of their projects.

Connect with Other Disciplines. The Interdisciplinary Web on the following page is provided to assist in your planning if your school uses an interdisciplinary, team approach. The web classifies the unit's activities and projects by related disciplines-language arts, math, social studies, physical education, health/nutrition, and visual/performing arts, and of course, science.

For interdisciplinary planning, schedule meetings with your team early. You are encouraged to tap the talents and interests of your team members as well as of your unique school and community resources in developing other suitable activities for this unit.

Use Current Events. You might want to ask the students to bring in newspaper clippings that relate to what they are investigating each week in the Ecology unit. Relating the unit content to current events helps the students see that what they are doing in class is, in fact, relevant to their lives. Students can use current events to make group scrapbooks, bulletin boards, and posters or to develop class presentations.

You may want to make a “question box” available to the students. Ask students to think of questions they have about what they are investigating. They can write down their questions and put them in the box. Then, when the time is right, pull out the questions and read them to the class. These questions generate good discussion. They also can be used to initiate class research projects.

Use a Variety of Resources. For the duration of the unit, we encourage you and your students to use a wide variety of sources for information. The activities provide rich opportunities for students to explore a variety of concepts; and the more they can incorporate information from sources outside the classroom, the richer their experiences will be. Use computer services for student and teacher information, networking (student pen pals, other schools, and communities), and connecting with experts in the field. An extensive list of resources can be found of this Teacher's Guide.

Have Students Keep Ecology Journals. We strongly recommend that each student keep an ecology journal. Encourage students to use their journals as they explore the environment around them. Encourage them to use their journals in the following ways or in any way that enhances their learning:

  • to express their feelings and thoughts about their environment and what they are learning
  • as a place to write down questions that come up as they progress through the unit
  • as a place to write goals, predictions, hypotheses, and plans
  • in any way that will help them make studying ecology a positive learning experience.

Teaching Timelines

You can use these timelines as a place to start in designing your own timelines, or you can use them as they are laid out. If you're planning your own timeline, consider the inclusion of the Embedded activities first. The embedded activities are included in the student edition. The Enrichment activities, GroupWork activities, and projects can then be included, depending on your time restrictions. The timelines are guides that can vary if some activities are done at home or in other classes in addition to science class.

We realize it may not be possible to do all the activities shown on these timelines. If you need to remove activities, be careful not to remove any activities critical to the content of the unit. You may want to divide the activities among interdisciplinary members of your teaching team.

Page references in these charts refer to the student edition, except when Enrichments are suggested. The page references for Enrichments refer to this Teacher's Guide.

Option 1: Six Week Timeline
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1

Read Section 1

Activity 1-1: Map Your Environment

Read Section 2

Review Section 2

Activity 2-1: Draw a Food Chain

Read Section 3

Mini Activity: Draw Your Community

Review Section 3

Mini Activity: Draw the Community of a Largemouth Bass

Week 2 Activity 3-1: Classifying the Players in a Willow Forest

Review of Sections 1, 2, 3

Assessment Sections 1, 2, 3

Read Section 4

Activity 4-1: A Day in the Life of a Water Molecule

Read Section 4

Mini Activity: A Day in the Life of a Carbon Atom

OR

Mini Activity: Create of Cycle Poster

Read Section 5.

Activity 5-1: Go with the Flow: Hubbard Brook Watershed

Week 3

Continue

Activity 5-1: Go with the Flow: Hubbard Brook Watershed

Read Section 6

Activity 6-1: What's in Your Garbage and Where Does It Go?

Read Section 6

Mini Activity: Overpackaging

Review of Sections 4, 5, 6

Assessment Section 4, 5, 6

Read Section 7

Activity 7-1: Too Many Bobcats

Week 4

Read Section 7

Mini Activity: Define the Niche of an Animal

Read Section 8 Activity 8-1: Once Upon an Oak Tree Read Section 9 Activity 9-1: Brush Rabbit Boom
Week 5

Review of Sections 7, 8, 9

Assessment Sections 7, 8, 9

Read Section 10 Activity 10-1: Feeling the Heat: The Greenhouse Effect

Read Section 11

Activity 11-1: Expedition to the Kalimantan Rain Forest

Read Section 11

Enrichment 11-1: Measuring Species Diversity

Week 6

Continue

Enrichment 11-1: Measuring Species Diversity

Read Section 12

Activity 12-1: Design a Nature Reserve

Continue

Activity 12-1: Design a Nature Reserve

Read Section 13

Activity 13-1: Map Your Environment Revisited

Assessment Sections 10, 11, 12, 13

Or

Unit Exam

Option 2: Eight-Week Timeline
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1

Read Section 1

Activity 1-1: Map Your Environment

Read Section 2

Review Section 2

Mini Activity: Photosynthesis/Respiration Play

Activity 2-1: Draw a Food Chain Enrichment 2-1: What Do Owls Eat?
Week 2

Continue

Enrichment 2-1: What Do Owls Eat?

Read Section 3

Mini Activity: Draw Your Community

Review Section 3

Mini Activity: Draw the Community of a Largemouth Bass

Enrichment 3-1: Food Web Game

Continue

Enrichment 3-1 Food Web Game

Week 3 Activity 3-1: Classifying the Players in a Willow Forest

Review of Sections 1,2,3

Assessment Sections 1,2,3

Read Section 4

Activity 4-1: A Day in the Life of a Water Molecule

Enrichment 4-1: What Goes Up, Must Come Down-Water-Cycle Simulation

OR

Enrichment 4-2: Water Underground

Review Section 4

Mini Activity: A Day in the Life of a Carbon Atom

OR

Mini Activity: Create a Cycle Poster

Week 4

Read Section 5

Mini Activity: How Do Scientists know

Activity 5-1: Go with the Flow: Hubbard Brook Watershed

Continue

Activity 5-1: Go with the Flow: Hubbard Brook Watershed

Read Section 6

Mini Activity: Draw a Paper Cycle

Activity 6-1: What's in Your Garbage and Where Does It Go?
Week 5

Read Section 6

Mini Activity: Overpackaging

Review of Sections 4,5,6

Assessment Sections 4,5,6

Read Section 7

Activity 7-1: Too Many Bobcats

Enrichment 7-1: What's in a Niche? Read Section 8
Week 6 Activity 8-1: Once Upon an Oak Tree Read Section 9 Activity 9-1: Brush Rabbit Boom

Review of Sections 7,8,9

Assessment Sections 7,8,9

Read Section 10
Week 7

Review Section 10

Activity 10-1: Feeling the Heat: The Greenhouse Effect

Read Section 11

Mini Activity: Count Your Habitats

OR

Mini Activity: Local Species

Review Section 11

Activity 11-1: Expedition to the Kalimantan Rain Forest

Enrichment 11-1: Measuring Species Diversity

Continue

Enrichment 11-1: Measuring Species Diversity

Week 8 Enrichment 11-2: Extinction Crisis

Read Section 12

Activity 12-1: Design a Nature Reserve

Continue

Activity 12-1: Design a Nature Reserve

Read Section 13

Activity 13-1: Map Your Environment Revisited

Assessment Sections 10,11,12,13

OR

Unit Exam

Safety for Teachers

  • Always perform an experiment or demonstration on your own before allowing students to perform the activity. Look for possible hazards. Alert students to possible dangers. Safety instructions should be given each time an experiment is begun.
  • Wear glasses and not contact lenses. Make sure you and your students wear safety goggles in the lab when performing any experiments.
  • Do not tolerate horseplay or practical jokes of any kind.
  • Do not allow students to perform any unauthorized experiments.
  • Never use mouth suction in filling pipettes with chemical reagents.
  • Never “force” glass tubing into rubber stoppers.
  • Use equipment that is heat resistant.
  • Set good safety examples when conducting demonstrations and experiments.
  • Turn off all hot plates and open burners when they are not in use and when leaving the lab.
  • When students are working with open flames, remind them to tie back long hair and to be aware of loose clothing in order to avoid contact with flames.
  • Make sure you and your students know the location of and how to use fire extinguishers, eyewash fountains, safety showers, fire blankets, and first-aid kits.
  • Students and student aides should be fully aware of potential hazards and know how to deal with accidents. Establish and educate students on first-aid procedures.
  • Teach students the safety precautions regarding the use of electricity in everyday situations. Make sure students understand that the human body is a conductor of electricity. Never handle electrical equipment with wet hands or when standing in damp areas. Never overload electrical circuits. Use 3-prong service outlets.
  • Make sure that electrical equipment is properly grounded. A ground-fault circuit breaker is desirable for all laboratory AC circuits. A master switch to cut off electricity to all stations is desirable for all laboratory AC circuits.
  • Make sure you and your students are familiar with how to leave the lab safely in an emergency. Be sure you know a safe exit route in the event of a fire or an explosion.

For Student Safety

Safety in the Classroom

  • Wear safety goggles in the lab when performing any experiments. Tie back long hair and tuck in loose clothing while performing experiments, especially when working near or with an open flame.
  • Never eat or drink anything while working in the science classroom. Only lab manuals, notebooks, and writing instruments should be in the work area.
  • Do not taste any chemicals for any reason, including identification.
  • Carefully dispose of waste materials as instructed by your teacher. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Do not use cracked, chipped, or deeply scratched glassware, and never handle broken glass with your bare hands.
  • Lubricate glass tubing and thermometers with water or glycerin before inserting them into a rubber stopper. Do not apply force when inserting or removing a stopper from glassware while using a twisting motion.
  • Allow hot glass to cool before touching it. Hot glass shows no visible signs of its temperature and can cause painful burns. Do not allow the open end of a heated test tube to be pointed toward another person.
  • Do not use reflected sunlight for illuminating microscopes. Reflected sunlight can damage your eyes.
  • Tell your teacher if you have any medical problems that may affect your safety in doing lab work. These problems may include allergies, asthma, sensitivity to certain chemicals, epilepsy, or any heart condition.
  • Report all accidents and problems to your teacher immediately.

HANDLING DISSECTING INSTRUMENTS and PRESERVED SPECIMENS

  • Preserved specimens showing signs of decay should not be used for lab observation or dissection. Alert your teacher to any problem with the specimen.
  • Dissecting instruments, such as scissors and scalpels, are sharp. Use a cutting motion directed away from yourself and your lab partner.
  • Be sure the specimen is pinned down firmly in a dissecting tray before starting a dissection.
  • In most cases very little force is necessary for making incisions. Excess force can damage delicate, preserved tissues.
  • Do not touch your eyes while handling preserved specimens. First wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. Also wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap when you are finished with the dissection.

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Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
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