Sheep Heart Dissection

Sheep Heart Dissection
Sheep Heart Dissection

As part of the 7th graders current unit on the heart and circulatory system, we had a current parent come in (Dr. C – a Cardiac Electrophysiologist) to give a presentation to the whole 7th grade about the heart, pacemakers, heart health, and perform a dissection on the sheep heart. We set up a camera and projected it onto a large screen so that all the students could see to the dissection from anywhere in the room. Dr. C gave a wonderful presentation and we were lucky to have him share his experience and knowledge with us!

The next day, students had an opportunity to dissect a sheep heart and examine the structure and function of the heart up close. The students used sheep hearts that were frozen and then thawed prior to use instead of using preserved specimens. In my opinion, this provides a more realistic experience and is easier for the students to dissect. Since the heart was fresh, the cardiac muscle, arteries, valves, and veins were much easier to see and handle this way.

Sheep Heart Dissection
Sheep Heart Dissection

Materials:

  • goggles
  • gloves
  • lab coat/apron/old shirt
  • disinfecting wipes
  • scalpel
  • pins
  • scissors
  • pre-made labels using sticky notes or masking tape
  • probes
  • dissecting tray

Resources:

  • Which way to the heart? Students learned about Heart Anatomy and Blood Flow (blog entry)
  • Pickle Dissection – Students learned how to use dissection tools (blog entry)
  • Teach Engineering: Sheep Heart Dissection (link)
  • Carolina: Sheep Heart (link)
  • BioEd Online (link)
  • Biology Corner (link)
  • PBS Learning Media (link)
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