As part of the 7th grade biology unit on animals, we look at different phylum found in that kingdom. We talk about the characteristics and important adaptations each have for survival. In doing so, the students take part in multiple dissections in order to learn and compare the different anatomy’s of common organisms.
So far, they have dissected a squid (part of the mollusk phylum), worm (the annelid phylum) and a sea star (a member of the echinoderm phylum). They dissected their first vertebrate, a fish, this past week. Each organism has a different circulatory system, number of hearts, different sequence of body parts, and some have no brain at all. From this, the students have been able to see how diverse all life is.