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It never came to my mind that we would have a time when kids will do Biology with the dissection activities before this year. I was uncertain whether we would like to do the activity or not. Finally, we came to the decision to do the dissection with kids with some reasons.
Today I would like to share how we have some preparation for dissection with kids. Here are some points that we do to make the dissection with kids successful.
Dissection is an ultimate activity with parents or adults supervision until the high school level. It doesn't require a doctor, teacher, or scientist education background to accompany kids doing the activity. Parents can help kids also by learning together with them. However, before you do the activity, it is suggested that parents do some observation or research about dissection.
- Watching video of dissection in Youtube is the easiest way for instant learning. You might compare one method from another and decide which one is the best for you to adopt.
- You can also learn from dissection books. I found that this book is really helpful for us:
- You might also ask more experienced people or work together with other parents that want to do the same activity. It will also be good to work together if you are not confident to do a solo dissection in case your kids don't want to do dissection finally.
Introduce The Term “Dissection” and Purposes
For kids who have never come to the dissection activities before, it is compulsory to introduce the term “dissection” to them. Here are some points that they need to know:
- What is dissection?
Dissection is to cut apart to learn more about the internal organs of the living creature, to examine the structure, to compare with other objects, and to analyze the function.
- The goal of the activity at that time.
Of course, you might not do all of the purposes of the dissection mentioned before, but you also need to tell kids about your main goal of the activity you are doing at that time.
- The roles and importance of dissection in the real world and history. We can explain how dissection has helped the scientists and doctors to the medication of illness that cannot be done by only prescriptions. Sharing and discussing with kids about dissection in the past and how it has changed over time through the sophisticated technology.
Share The Expected Manner and Attitude
This is the most important point for you to do with kids before you start dissection. There are a lot of controversial issues about dissection that expose the cruelty behind the activity. Being cruel or not depends on the purpose and the attitude toward dissection activities that kids have. It is compulsory for you to explain about the expected manner and the attitude to kids whether they have just started to activity or they have done the activity several times.
- Being Serious
It is very important to emphasize that dissection is a joke or a game. It is forbidden to giggle or laugh during the process. Everyone should concentrate or focus to achieve the goals of the dissection activity. For early dissection it is usually to identify the inside organs of the object.
- Treating The Object Well
Being tidy, clean and gentle will help kids learn the object much better. It is also a kind of working habit kids need to have.
- Respecting Others
Kids should respect the object of dissection well. The attitude of being cruel is strictly forbidden. Parents should be alerted for the sign of cruelty coming out from children and stop the activity at once. Well, we won't know until the activity.
- Follow The Rules and procedures
Kids are expected to follow some rules of certain condition. For example, they should not scream right away when they feel disgusted or scared.
- Loving the God creature
The gentle, kind, and respecting attitude should also be done under the love of God. In other words, kids will learn to love God more by learning the internal organs. The small things inside the body should give more love to God.
Learn the Procedure
Before you start the dissection activity, learning the procedure will help kids know how to behave during the dissection activity. Here are some procedures you might want to share with them:
- How to use anesthesia to the object (if you use)
- What they need to wear during the dissection
- How they wear equipment
- What they need to do when they are afraid
- What they need to do after the dissection
- How to ask questions
Get Ready with The Tools
To ease the dissection with kids, it is better for you to prepare all of the tools and equipment before the activity. It will be annoying when you forget something in the middle of the dissection activity when you and the kids are in the middle of concentration. Here are some equipment you might need to prepare:
- plastic basin
- sterile pan and water
- washing soap and sponge
- plastic bag
- goggles, gloves, and mask
- plastic sheet for covering your table
Introduce The Dissection Kits
To avoid any misuse and misunderstanding about the use of the dissection kits during the activity, you might need to introduce the kids before the dissection activity. If you have just started the dissection activity for the first time, kids might not be able to memorize all of them. Don't expect too much for this. Even myself need couples of time to recognize the name and the items. It is better to get kids enjoy the dissection activity first rather than giving them pressure with too high expectation. However, when you come to the next activities, they will be used to the name of each tool. Here are some of them that you might often use:
- Dissection pan
You might purchase those items in some science supply stores. Otherwise, Amazon will also be a great place for you to get the tools.
If you are not familiar with the kits, it is also the time for you to learn together with your kids. It is a great moment for me too.
Find The Animal or The Specimens
There are some ways you can get the animals for the dissection activity.
- Order some preserved from science equipment stores or amazon.
- Ask others to help you find animals.
- Search by yourself
To avoid extinction and to maintain a good moral attitude, it is suggested to choose animals that have short life cycle. If you get a live animal, you need to prepare Chloroform (CHCl3) for the anesthetic action done by adults. You need to follow the appropriate procedure to apply the chemical. Always use goggles and mask when you have to do the process of anesthesia. Do it in the outdoor area to maintain safety. Here are some examples of preserved animals for the dissection purpose
Get Kids Familiar with The Object
It is better for children to have some background knowledge about the animal you are going to dissect so they know what they are looking for by doing the dissection. They may also make connections between the organs and the function.
- Read some books about animals
- Have some field trips or excursion to support the activity
- Make some models of the internal organs with some picture references
- Coloring activity can be done before or after the dissection.
This post is a part of the Dissection with Kids Series. Here are other posts about dissection with kids you should visit:
- The Reasons for The Dissection with Kids
- The Preparation for The Dissection with Kids
- The Tips for The Dissection with Kids
- After The Dissection with Kids
- 40 Alternative Resources for The Dissection with Kids
To learn more about animals and science topics, we use our Basic Science Notebooking Page Templates. Check it out:
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.