The Body

Organs and Organ Systems
  1. Fill out the above chart and color appropriately.
  2. Match up the organs with their appropriate organ systems from the table at the bottom.
  3. For each of the following types of tissues, list the organs that contain those tissues: Skeletal Muscle Tissue, Cardiac Muscle Tissue, Smooth Muscle Tissue, Nerve Tissue, Epithelial Tissue, Connective Tissue
Organs Organ Systems
Ligaments,Veins, Capillaries, Lungs, Stomach, Bones, Bladder, Nerves, Arteries, Blood, Mouth, Large Intestine, Kidneys, Nose, Spinal Cord, Trachea, Small Intestine, Heart, Cartilage, Ureter, Esophagus, Brain, Tendons, Urethra Skeletal System,Circulatory System, Nervous System, Respiratory System, Digestive System, Excretory System
Nervous System Introduction
  1. Using the biology book, identify the different parts and roles of the brain.
  2. Watch the “Discovery: How Neurons Work” video on . Answer the following questions:
    1. What does the cortex do?
    2. What do neurons do?
    3. How do messages get passed from one neuron to the next?
    4. How many neurons are in the brain? How many connections?
  3. On the computers, visit the following web sites and complete the questions:
Kanizsa Triangle:
  1. Describe what you see.
  2. Our brain perceives certain things that our eyes are not seeing. What evolutionary reason do you think there would be to see a particular shape where there is no shape?
Color Blindness:
  1. Do the test. What were your results?
  2. What does this tell you about how our eyes see color?
Reverse U.S. Flag:
  1. Stare at the dot in the middle of the flag for 30 seconds, then stare at a white sheet of paper or at a white wall. What do you see?
  2. This is called an “afterimage” effect. Why do you think that this happens?
  1. Using the biology book, identify the different parts and roles of the brain.
  2. Watch the “Discovery: How Neurons Work” video on . Answer the following questions:
    1. What does the cortex do?
    2. What do neurons do?
    3. How do messages get passed from one neuron to the next?
    4. How many neurons are in the brain? How many connections?
  3. On the computers, visit the following web sites and complete the questions:
Kanizsa Triangle:
  1. Describe what you see.
  2. Our brain perceives certain things that our eyes are not seeing. What evolutionary reason do you think there would be to see a particular shape where there is no shape?
Color Blindness:
  1. Do the test. What were your results?
  2. What does this tell you about how our eyes see color?
Reverse U.S. Flag:
  1. Stare at the dot in the middle of the flag for 30 seconds, then stare at a white sheet of paper or at a white wall. What do you see?
  2. This is called an “afterimage” effect. Why do you think that this happens?
Reaction Time
  1. Get a meter stick.  You will be testing peoples' reaction time under various conditions.
  2. You will test how quick peoples' reactions are 1) when you tell them that you will be dropping the meter stick, 2) when you don't tell them when you are dropping the meter stick, and 3) when you tell them that you will be dropping the stick, but their eyes are closed.  Come up with a fourth experiment and write it down.
  3. Find three people to test.  These people should not be in your group.  Write down their names.
  4. You will test people by having them hold their hands three inches apart where the meter stick reads "0".  You will hold it so that "100" is above their hands.  On your signal, you will drop and they will grab the meter stick.  Their reaction time is measured by where they grab the meter stick.
  5. For each person, do each test at least three times.
  6. After you are finished collecting data, find the average reaction time for each person for each test.
  7. Make a table to represent the data.
  8. Which test showed the quickest reaction times?
  9. Which test showed the slowest reaction times?
  10. Which people had the quickest reactions?
  11. Which people had the slowest reactions?
  12. Identify at least three patterns that you can see in the data.  What do these conclusions tell you about the human nervous system?
Senses: Hearing
Adapted from Eric H. Chudler Senses: Hearing
  1. Follow the directions to do the hearing test – make sure to select “SLM Based”.
  2. Write down your results!
  3. Compare your results to other people. Why do you think you did better or worse?
  4. Go to and then take the "short, online interactive quiz"
  5. To show the importance of two ears, try this one:
    • Find an X on the floor made with masking tape.
    • Measure distances in a straight line in increments of 5 ft from the X and label each of these points with the distance it is from the X (5 ft, 10 ft, 15 ft, 20 ft, 25ft)
    • Now for the test. Place a blindfolded subject on the X. Now, you stand on one of the points away from the X. Say the subject's name. The subject must now tell you which line you are standing on.
    • Try it when the subject uses just one ear.
    • Stand 2 to 3 feet to the left or right of the points and see if the subject can guess what side you are on.
    • Try this, too, when the subject uses just one ear.
  6. Are 2 ears better than one in judging distance?
  7. Are 2 ears better than one in judging direction?
  8. How well did the subject guess the distance and direction?
  9. In your group, who did the best at judging distance and direction?  Why is that?
For most people, it will be easier to judge distance using two ears. Our brains use the loudness of sounds and the differences in time for sounds to reach each ear to make accurate determinations of sound locations.
Senses: Vision
One of the most dramatic experiments to perform is the demonstration of the blind spot. The blind spot is the area on the retina without receptors that respond to light. Therefore an image that falls on this region will NOT be seen. It is in this region that the optic nerve exits the eye on its way to the brain. To find your blind spot, look at the image below or draw it on a piece of paper:
o                                  +
To draw the blind spot tester on a piece of paper, make a small dot on the left side separated by about 6-8 inches from a small + on the right side. Close your right eye. Hold the image (or place your head from the computer monitor) about 20 inches away. With your left eye, look at the +. Slowly bring the image (or move your head) closer while looking at the +. At a certain distance, the dot will disappear from sight...this is when the dot falls on the blind spot of your retina. Reverse the process. Close your left eye and look at the dot with your right eye. Move the image slowly closer to you and the + should disappear.
Here are some more images that will help you find your blind spot. For this image, close your right eye. With your left eye, look at the red circle. Slowly move your head closer to the image. At a certain distance, the blue line will not look broken!! This is because your brain is "filling in" the missing information.This next image allows you to see another way your brain fills in the blind spot. Again, close your right eye. With your left eye, look at the +. Slowly move your head closer to the image. The space in the middle of the vertical lines will disappear. In the next two images, again close your right eye. With your left eye, look at the numbers on the right side, starting with the number "1." You should be able to see the "sad face" (top image) or the gap in the blue line (bottom image) in your peripheral vision. Keep your head still, and with your left eye, look at the other numbers. The sad face should disappear when you get to "4" and reappear at about "7." Similarly the blue line will appear complete between "4" and "7." Here is another image to show your blind spot. Close your right eye. With your left eye, look at the +. You should see the red dot in your peripheral vision. Keep looking at the + with your left eye. The red dot will move from the left to the right and disappear and reappear as the dot moves into and out of your blind spot.
The blind spot is caused when light falls on an area of the retina without photoreceptors. How big is this area on the retina? Here is one way to find out the horizontal diameter of the blind spot. 
    1. Make a tester by marking + on the far right side of a piece of notebook paper.
  • Stand with your back to a wall, with your head touching the wall.
  • Hold the tester 500 mm (0.5 m or 50 cm) in front of your eye. (It may help to have someone help you.)
  • Close your right eye and look at the + with your left eye.
  • Place a pencil eraser on the far left side of the tester.
  • Slowly move the pencil eraser to the right.
  • When the eraser disappears, mark this location on the tester. Call this point "A."
  • Continue moving the eraser to the right until it reappears. Mark this location on the tester. Call this point "B."
  • Repeat the measurements until you are confident that they are accurate.
  • Measure the distance between the spots where the eraser disappeared and reappeared.
  To calculate the width of your blind spot on your retina, let's assume that 1) the back of your eye is flat and 2) the distance from the lens of your eye to the retina is 17 mm. We will ignore the distance from the cornea to the lens.   With the simple geometry of similar triangles, we can calculate the size of the blind spot because triangle ABC is similar to triangle CDE. So, the proportions of the lines will be similar.   When I did this experiment, the measured distance between point A and point B was 46 mm. Inserting 46 mm into the equation, the blind spot on my retina has a diameter of 1.56 mm.   <table border=1 bgcolor="#ffffff" cellspacing =5
Set up Example
Senses: Touch
  1. Choose a data recorder, a subject, and a tester for your group.
  2. Find the Data Recording Sheet at the end of this Student Guide and begin the experiment with the first skin area on the list, the forehead.
  3. The subject must either close his/her eyes or wear a blindfold. (The subject may not watch the procedure—this would give away the answer!)
  4. The tester should use a cork with two toothpicks (or pins) stuck into it. You can use one cork and move the toothpicks different distances apart, or use several corks, each one with two toothpicks a measured distance apart. Your teacher will give further instructions on how to do this.
  5. The tester should start with toothpicks about 50millimeters (mm) apart. Make sure that the two points touch the skin at the same time.
  6. The data recorder asks how many points the subjects feels. If the person feels two, move the points closer together — about 40 mm apart, and check again.
  7. Continue the procedure until you find the smallest distance the points can be separated for the person to feel two points instead of one. When the person reports “one point” for the first time, move the two points apart only one or two millimeters at a time and try to make a very accurate measurement.
  8. When the smallest distance is found, the data recorder can measure the distance in millimeters between the two points while the experimenter holds them on the subject.
  9. Continue this process for the rest of the skin areas on the Data Sheet.
  10. Use fresh toothpicks if another person becomes a subject.
  1. After you have measured and recorded all distances on the Data Sheet, make a histogram of your results on the graph provided at the end of the Student Guide.
  2. Write down any other interesting things you noticed while doing this experiment.
  1. How do your results compare with those of other groups?
  2. Are the two-point distances on different areas of the skin the same—for example, is the measurement on fingertips the same as the measurement on the back of the leg?
  3. Which parts of the body are best at telling that two points are touching them even when the points are very close together?
  4. Which skin areas do you think have more receptors, areas that have small two-point distances, or large two-point distances? Why do you think so?
  5. Which brain area do you think is larger, one receiving information from skin with lots of receptors, or from skin with a few receptors?
  6. How does information from sensory receptors in the skin get to the brain?
  1. List three findings you think are important from today’s experiment. Were you surprised by anything you found?
  2. How could you improve this experiment?
Senses: Taste
Part 1: Jellybeans
  1. For each subject you test, you will need pairs of jelly beans.  For example, get 2 cherry jelly beans, 2 lime jelly beans, 2 lemon jelly beans and 2 orange jelly beans.
  2. Each jelly bean flavor has its own unique color: red for cherry, green for lime, yellow for lemon and orange for orange. Divide the jelly beans into two groups: each group should have one of each flavor.
  3. Label small containers or napkins with the numbers 1 through 4.
  4. Place the jelly beans from the first group into a container or on a napkin - one jelly bean into each container or on each napkin.
  5. Wrap the jelly beans in the second group in foil or place them in a cup so that your subjects cannot see them. Label these cups with the numbers 1 through 4. Make sure that the flavors of the second group have different numbers than the flavors in the first group.
  6. Now you are ready to start the experiment. If you want, you can tell your subject the names of the flavors that they will be tested. In other words, you can say, "The jelly beans you taste will be either cherry, orange, lime or lemon."
  7. Tell your subject to look at the jelly bean in container #1 of the first group and then taste the jelly bean. After they have tasted the jelly bean, tell your subject to write down its flavor. Do the same thing with jelly beans #2-#4.
  8. The next part of the experiment is a bit more difficult. You must keep the color of the jelly beans in group 2 hidden from your subjects. You can blindfold your subjects or have them close their eyes while they taste the jelly beans. Keep track of the flavors that your subjects say each jelly bean tastes like. You can even tell your subjects that the flavors they will taste will be the same as before.
  9. What are the results?
  10. Did your subjects make any mistakes when they could not see the color of the jelly bean?
  11. If they did, what was the most common mistake?
  12. What would happen if you used an unusual flavor?
  13. What would happen if you found a jelly bean with an abnormal color...for example a red-colored lemon-flavor jelly bean?
Part 2: Taste Buds The taste buds on the tongue are, of course, important for the flavor of food. See if different parts of the tongue are most sensitive to different characteristics of food (i.e., salty, bitter, sour, sweet).
  1. Get examples of each of these tastes (for example, salty water, sugary water, vinegar or lemon for sour and onion juice for bitter).
  2. Give each person a set of solutions and some toothpicks. Dip the toothpicks into the solutions and lightly touch the tongue.
  3. Repeat the tests on different portions of the tongue. It may help to drink a bit of water in between tests. Also be careful in testing the back part of the tongue...some people may gag!
  4. Are parts of the tongue more sensitive to specific flavors or are all parts of the tongue equally sensitive to the flavors?
  5. If so, indicate on a drawing of the tongue the areas that are most sensitive to the different tastes.
  6. Compare tongue drawings with tongue drawings from other people.
Now or Later - The "Recency/Primary" Effect
  1. Here is a memory experiment that requires a group of subjects to test.
  2. Get 5 or more students in the class to serve as your experimental subjects. Tell them that you will read a list of 20 words and that their job is to remember as many of the words as possible.
  3. Read the following list of 20 words at a rate of 1 word every second. Ask your subjects to write down the words that they can remember immediately after you finish reading the list. Here is the list of words: "cat apple ball tree square head house door box car king hammer milk fish book tape arrow flower key shoe"
  4. Which three words were recalled the best?
  5. Was there better recall of words that were read first or last?  To answer this, assign a "position" to each word that you read. So, "cat" was word #1, apple was word #2, ball was word #3, and shoe was word #20. Calculate the percent of recall for each word. For example, if you had 10 subjects and 7 of them remembered the word "cat", then "cat" (word #1) had a percent recall of 70%. Calculate the percent of recall for each of the 20 words.
  6. Now plot your results: the X-axis will be word position and the Y-axis will be % recall.
  7. Do you see a pattern?
  8. Does is look anything at all like this figure?
  9. The results of this kind of experiment usually result in a graph similar to this one. This kind of graph is called a "serial-position curve." Words read first and words read last are remembered better than words read in the middle of a list.
  10. This type of experiment provides evidence that there are 2 types of memory processes. It is thought that memory is good for the words read last because they are still in short term memory - this is the recency effect. Memory is good for the words read first because they made it into long term memory - this is the primacy effect.  It is also possible that some words in the list were very easy to recall for other reasons. For example, if your teacher just dropped a hammer on his or her toe, then everyone may find that the word "hammer" was easy to remember. Or perhaps, the last name of someone in the group of subjects is "King", then everyone would remember the word "king".
  11. You can try this experiment again with a slight twist. Ask a new set of subjects to remember the same set of words. However, immediately after you finish reading the list, DISTRACT your subjects by having them count backwards from 100 by threes (100, 97, 94, 91, etc) for about 15-30 seconds.
  12. Plot your serial position curve again. Do you see any changes?
  13. Usually, distraction causes people to forget the words at the end of the list. Did it happen to your subjects?
Muscular System: Identification

Label the above figures using the information below:

Your trapezius extends your head and neck, which is found next to the deltoid muscles that raise your arms.  Another muscle that controls your arms, the pectoralis major (or "pecs") pulls your arms in front of your body.  On your arm itself, there is the upper and lower half.  The upper arm has your biceps and triceps; the biceps contract your arm and your triceps, located on the bottom of your upper arm, extend your arm outwards.  The lower arm, or forearm, has two muscles that control how your wrist rotates.  The brachioradialis is located on the front of your body and the supinator is on the back of your body.

Your torso contains several very large muscles that control how your upper body moves.  The latissimus dorsi (or "lats") control your arm movements away from your body and rotating in place.  They are the largest muscles in your back.  The rectus abdominus (or "abs") contracts your entire torso, such as when you do sit-ups or crunches.  The external oblique muscles, on the sides of your torso, allow you to rotate your torso like you're turning to talk to someone.

Finally, your legs!  Let's start with the most famous and admired muscles, the gluteus maximus (or "glutes").  They are your "butt" muscles and extend your entire leg.  The quadriceps (located on top of your thighs) extend your lower leg and the biceps femoris help to contract your lower leg.  The tibialis anterior raises your foot upwards while the gastrocnemius on the back of your lower leg extends your foot downwards.  Lastly, the soleus is located near your ankle and is critical to running, walking and dancing!

F1 & B1 - Trapezius

F2 & B2 - Deltoid

F3 - Pectoralis Major ("Pecs")

B3 - Triceps

F4 - Biceps

B4 - Latissimus Dorsi ("Lats")

F5 - Rectus Abdominus ("Abs")

B5 & F6 - External Oblique

B6 - Supinator

F7 - Brachioradialis

B7 - Gluteus Maximus ("Glutes")

F8 - Quadriceps

B8 - Biceps Femoris

F9 - Tibialis Anterior

B9 - Gastrocnemius

B10 - Soleus

Muscular System: Movement
  1. When you bend your arm at your elbow, your biceps are flexing and your triceps are extending. Is the following statement is true: Most people's biceps are stronger than their triceps?
  2. You will perform an experiment to test this statement, with a 1kg weight.  Group members will take turns doing the following exercise: Standing with your back against a wall, hold the weight in your dominant hand, letting the weight hang at your side with your arm fully extended downward. Raise the weight by bending your arm from the elbow toward your face as far as you can. Lower the weight by fully extending the arm downward.
  3. Repeat the exercise until you feel tired. Record the number of repetitions for each student.
  4. Standing with your back against a wall, hold the weight in your dominant hand, letting the weight hang at your side with your arm fully extended downward. Bend your arm at the elbow, bringing the weight up toward your face and holding the weight next to your ear on the same side of the body. Rotate your wrist so your palm is facing away from you. Now push the weight straight up into the air until the arm is fully extended; then return the weight so that it is next to your ear again.
  5. Repeat the exercise until you feel tired. Group members should record the number of repetitions for each student.
  6. Compute class averages for the "flex" and "extend" exercises.
  7. Did the results of the test agreed with the vote prior to the experiment?  Why or why not?
  8. What makes one muscle stronger than another?
  9. Come up with exercises to train the following pairs of muscles:
Deltoids vs. Pectoralis Major Supinator vs. Brachioradialis Tibialis Anterior vs. Gastrocnemius Quadriceps vs. Biceps femoris
Skeleton Identification
Identify the bones in the body from the following passage. Let's start at the base of the skeleton, the spinal column.  Your spinal, or vertebral, column, is the place in your skeleton where the rest of the skeleton branches off.  At the top of the backbone, the cervical vertebrae connect the skull to the spinal column.  Separate from the skull, the mandible forms your lower jaw. The thoracic vertebrae can be found directly below the cervical vertebrae, where the ribs branch off.  The sternum connects the ribs together in the "breastbone".  Connected to the top of the sternum are the two clavicles which you can feel between your shoulders and breastbone.  Those clavicles then form a joint with the scapula and humerus.  Your scapula is your shoulder bone, and the humerus is upper arm.  Your lower arm is composed of two bones, the radius and ulna.  The radius is on the thumb side, while the ulna is on the pinky side of the forearm.  Lastly, we get to your hands.  Your wrist is made up of carpals, the inner hand is made up of metacarpals, and your fingers (just like your toes) are phalanges. Below the cervical and thoracic vertebrae, the lumbar vertebrae act as the major support structure for your abdominal section.  Continuing down the spinal column, the sacrum is found opposite the innominate (or pelvic) bone which forms the structure to your hips.  From the innominate bone comes your legs, starting with the femur.  The knee is made up of a floating bone called the patella, and then your lower leg is made up of two bones (just like your lower arm).  The tibia is on the big toe side of your leg and is much bigger than your fibula.  Just like in your hand, the ankle is made up tarsals, the inner foot is made up of metatarsals, and the toes are phalanges. The final part of the spinal column is the tailbone, or coccyx.
Developing Posture
Posture is among the greatest variables that has influence human height growth and spinal column well-being. If you want to achieve your full height potential, it is necessary that you choose to keep good healthy posture through all your actions.  Ensuring you maintain a careful focus to stand up straight is, naturally a sensible way to possess excellent posture. Nonetheless, performing frequent posture improvement in addition to height growth activities may help the body have much better posture naturally.  To help you to better have an understanding of the reason why good posture plays such a major factor of your height, you should understand a little bit about the structure of the vertebrae. Your spinal column is naturally “S” shaped and when you're standing upright, a correctly aligned spine will appear as if a string is strung directly through your body from your crown of your scalp, down the center of your torso, and into your heels.  This makes your physique situate itself as upright as it can be. When you maintain bad posture, a segment of the vertebrae will be misaligned much more in one way or the other.  As an example, those who shift their pelvis overly forwards may develop a “swayback” that slumps their body. When your physique slumps in this manner it puts pressure on your vertebrae as well as wears down the discs in your spine, reducing your height.  In fact, many people with inadequate form are 1 to two inches less tall in comparison to their real stature. It is best to try to maintain optimal posture while in every bodily alignment. But if your spinal column, neck, as well as other related muscle groups are not in shape then you will discover that you have to make more of a concentrated effort to do so.  Even so, if you strengthen these applicable muscles you'll have an all natural capability to avoid the tendency to slump and struggle with unhealthy compression placed on your spinal column that makes you get shorter.
  1. What is posture?
  2. Which bones in the body are the most important in order to maintain posture?
  3. How can you improve your posture?
  4. In the following paragraphs, you'll find out about three exercises developed to help you develop your posture.  They can also help you increase your height!  The first exercise is called Bowing Down to One self. It is one of most basic height development workouts and you can do it pretty much wherever. This particular stretch increases your healthy posture, plus extends out the muscle groups in your upper back.  Take a seat into a seat and keep your spine in a straight line and your head facing forwards. Hold your feet soles flat to the ground. Slowly lower your chin down to your upper body and breathe three long breaths prior to raising your head back to the starting location. Continue doing this exercise as required.
  5. Which specific bones does this exercise help to stretch?
  6. Where do you feel the stretch in your body?
  7. The first exercise needs to be followed with the Ear to Shoulder. Just like the last activity, this will aid in improving your posture along with stretch out your top spine muscles.  This action particularly exercises the muscular tissues which run down the sides of the top spinal column and neck which will help hold your neck and head in place of good healthy posture and boost height increase .  Sit down in the same placement as before, with your spinal column straight and feet flat to the ground. Take in a deep breath so when you let out your breath move your right ear towards your right shoulder.  Take another deep breath so that as you exhale roll your chin towards your upper body. On the next breath, breathe out and move your left ear to your left shoulder. Finally, take an additional heavy breath and let out your breath while you move your chin returning to your upper body.  Your moves ought to be continual and slow-moving and you ought to breathe deeply. Repeat this set a minimum of 3 more intervals.
  8. Which specific muscles does this exercise help to stretch?
  9. Where do you feel the stretch in your body?
  10. As you conduct the following exercise, named the Poultry Exercise, you'll be able to sense the stretching out and lengthening across the backside of the neck. Because your neck is such an important factor in good healthy posture, this particular exercise can be great to increase height development, and general conditioning.  Once again, you need to keep the vertebrae straight and feet flat whilst you sit in a chair. Behave as if there were a string yanking up the top of your head to make you as tall as possible.  Focus your eyes to the location in front of your nose as well as raise your palm to your chin. Take in a very deep breath in, rest your palm on your chin and start to inhale and exhale out slowly.  As you breathe out, gently push your chin into your neck until eventually you feel the elongating on the back of your neck. Whenever you finish breathing out cease and then repeat the set, you should do this no less than 3 more times.
  11. Which specific bones muscles does this exercise help to stretch?
  12. Where do you feel the stretch in your body?
Read the following article: Learn to Lift Correctly to Help Prevent Back Injury Most people lift things of varying size and weight throughout the day without concern for back injury. It is usually after a back attack or spine injury that a patient becomes aware of the importance of proper posture and body mechanics when lifting. At the San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders (SDCSD), we'd like to help you prevent back injury from occurring when lifting. Whether you've always had a healthy back, or you've had spine injuries in the past, the four easy lessons below will help you prevent lifting injuries. Lesson 1: Good Posture and Body Mechanics Posture and body mechanics involves the way your body moves through space. Good posture means the natural curves of the spine are not stressed or strained, but in a neutral position ready to absorb and distribute loads (e.g. weight) encountered during daily activities. Proper body mechanics incorporates good posture while the body is at rest or in motion. When good posture and body mechanics are working in harmony, spine injury may be prevented. Lesson 2: Don't Lift Yet - Evaluate the Situation Before you begin to lift something, assess the item's size and weight. Test the weight by pushing it with your foot or by lifting a corner. If the item doesn't easily move, get help. The job may require two people, splitting up the load, a hand-truck, dolly or lifting equipment. Plan a safe route to the final destination. Map out a mental picture to the destination and plan for places to stop and rest. Before beginning to lift and move the item, clear away floor clutter (e.g. throw rugs, electrical cords), open closed doors, and be aware of stairs. Lesson 3: Safe Lifting Tips The following tips apply in most lifting situations.
  • Position your body directly in front of and close to the item.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to give the body a solid foundation.
  • Tighten your stomach muscles to help support the back.
  • Bend both at the hips and knees (power position) and squat close to the item.
  • Take hold of the item and bring it close to your body.
  • The way the item is held depends on its size and shape.
For example: A small box can be held close to the body by gripping the box at the bottom with the elbows bent. Bending the arms will help to distribute the weight and lessen stress to the neck and shoulders. Work gloves may help to improve grip and protect the hands. Before lifting, remember:
  • Keep your stomach muscles tight
  • Look straight ahead
  • Do not twist or turn your body while lifting
  • Lift using the leg muscles, keeping the spine straight or tall
  • Take your time, smoothly lift the item; avoid jerking movements
  • Do not lift (or carry) items above the waist.
  • When carrying the item, keep your knees slightly bent, take small steps, and use your feet to change direction (e.g. pivot).
To set the item down:
  • Keep the load close to the body
  • Look straight ahead
  • Do not twist the body
  • Bend both at the hips and knees (squat down), keeping the spine straight or tall
  • Release the item
  • Stand up straight using the leg muscles
Lesson 4: Don't Stoop Consider the guidelines in Lesson 3 even if picking a piece of paper up off the floor. One of the worst body movements is stooping or bending over at the waist to lift anything. Stooping over places harmful stress on the lower back and can cause back injury. The next time you are faced with a simple lifting task or challenge, remember to be aware of how your body moves through space. Make sure you include proper posture and good body mechanics in your lifting plan to help prevent back injury.
  1. Try picking something up with these tips.  Watch others lift heavy objects.  See who in your group can pick up heavy objects the best, according to the tips.  What are they doing wrong?
  2. What is the most difficult part of lifting things properly?
Broken Bones
The skeletal system is responsible for creating cells that help keep us healthy (white blood cells), protects our vital organs and supports our muscular system, allowing us to move.  In order for bones to maintain themselves, they must constantly break down and rebuild the collagen and minerals that they are made of. Cells called osteoclasts are multinucleated cells that eat away the bone's mineral coating and collagen. You can think of them as "bone destroyers."  Cells called osteoblasts are cells that lay new collagen and coat the bone with fresh minerals. You can think of them as "bone creators."  The process of bone destruction and creation is never ending. As a result of this constant breakdown and replacement, human bones are never more than 20 years old. When a bone is broken:
  • The injury is flooded with natural painkillers called endorphins, which temporarily block out pain.
  • An injury will swell because the body is sending extra oxygen and nutrients to the injury to begin the healing process.
  • A large hematoma, which is a collection of blood, surrounds the break in the bone.
  • Stem cells, which are responsible for making new cells, usually divide every one to two days. Now that there is an injury, they will divide every three minutes.
  • Within four weeks the hematoma will harden around the break, making the injured area extra strong.
  • Over the next several months, osteoclasts will "eat away" the hardened hematoma and the injury will be repaired.
  • Within a year of the injury, the bone will be almost as strong as it was before the break!
Draw (in cartoon style) the process of bone repair following a break, making sure to incorporate at least five vocabulary words you have learned. You can use the following diagrams to help:

Final Project: Dissection
For your final project, you will perform a frog (or other animal) dissection. You will need to complete a thorough virtual dissection (, then a multi-day actual dissection on the specific animal.

Frog Dissection Pre- Lab

Why are we dissecting a frog?

Frogs and humans are vertebrates and they have very similar organ systems. Although all of the internal organs are not exactly the same, it is helpful to learn about anatomy through dissection. We will be looking at each body system and exploring the individual organs of the frog. We will be making comparisons between the frog and yourself.

Some individuals argue that dissecting a frog is cruel. Dissection would be a cruel practice if the frogs were mistreated. The frogs that we use in lab for our dissection were bred in Mexico for the sole purpose of scientific study. The companies use a very safe preservative to make the frogs as safe as possible. We still need to wear gloves and wash our hands while working with the frogs.

Computers can be used to simulate a dissection. This method is very popular with some students. I do not believe that the computer experience is anywhere near as valuable as the actual dissection. But, I do think that it is a good tool. We will be going through a ‘Virtual Dissection’ to help prepare for our actual dissection.

The frogs we use, gave their lives for science. They are ‘Organ Donors’ who would like us to learn more about them (and ourselves). In order to best use this opportunity to learn and show respect for the frog, we must follow all instructions and safety procedures.

For our safety, we will be wearing gloves and goggles during the dissection. Aprons will be available for students. EVERYBODY must wash their hands before they leave the room. Hair should be tied back. No gum chewing or eating at all.

Characteristics of amphibians

Because their eggs are not in a shell, they must develop in a wet environment. Most amphibians do not have scales. Their skin is thin, smooth, and moist. They do not drink water! Instead, they absorb it through their skin. This is a major reason why most amphibians prefer to live in damp environments (or near water). Amphibians can breath through their lungs or through their skin.

Ecological Indicators

Amphibians are often called ecological indicators. When large numbers of amphibians begin to die or show deformities, this may indicate a problem with the environment. Sometimes deformities are caused by other living organisms. They are good ecological indicator because their skin is responsible for gas and water exchanges- and thus they are extremely sensitive to changes in air and water quality.

1.Frogs are amphibians, and do not drink water. How do frogs get their water?

2.Why are amphibians considered to be a good ecological indicators?

Frog Life Cycle

Below you will find questions.

They are organized by section.

Use the website above to answer.

3.Spawn (egg-mass). Describe how a male frog fertilizes eggs.

4.Egg. Frogs lay thousands of eggs at a time because most will not survive. Roughly 5% of all egg laid, even hatch. How long does a tadpole egg take to hatch (on average)?

5.Tadpole. Tadpoles are born with gills, and spend ALL of their time in the water. How long before the gills start getting grown over (and covered) by skin?

6.Tadpole with Legs. When do legs start to sprout?

7.Young Frog. This life stage looks just like frog, but still have a tail. How many weeks old is a frog in this stage?

8.Frog. How long does it take a frog to fully develop from tadpole to frog?

9.Frog. What other factors can influence the grow rate of frogs?

Virtual Frog Dissection

Below you will find questions.

They are organized by section.

Use the website above to answer.


10.Why Dissect. Why are frogs a good model to use when studying the digestive system (as well as other systems)?

11.Natural History. Frogs and humans are both vertebrates. What does this mean they both have?

12.Dissection Tools. What are the probe and scissors used for?

Click on Menu on the bottom at the bottom of the page when you are ready to move on to the next section

External Anatomy

13.Orientation. Is it possible to tell if a frog is male or female by external appearance?

14.Skin. What does the mucus do for the skin?

15.Head. Where are the tympanic membranes (eardrums)? Do frogs have a pinna?

16.Cloaca. What materials would pass through a cloaca.

17.Legs. How many hind leg toes does a frog have?

Click on Menu on the bottom at the bottom of the page when you are ready to move on to the next section

Internal Anatomy

18.The Initial Cut. Are you suppose to push the pins in at an angle or straight down? What is the benefit of pushing the pins in this way?

19.The Initial Cut. Describe the first cut you will be making. Include where you will be cutting and how deep.

20.The Initial Cut. Why are there so many blood vessels in between the skin and muscle layers?

21.Digestive System. Which organ is the pancreas located closest to?

22.Digestive System. The movie asks you to remove the intestines. What other organ(s) is/are removed with the intestines when you click on the tweezers?

23.Respiratory System. What does the skin do in frogs that it does not do in humans?

24.Respiratory System. Where are the lungs located in a frog (relative to the heart)?

25.Circulatory (Cardiovascular) System. How many chambers does a frogs heart have?

26.Circulatory (Cardiovascular) System What is a frogs heart missing when compared to a humans (what chamber)?

27.Circulatory (Cardiovascular) System Why is the three chambered heart not as efficient as a four chambered heart?

28.Reproductive System. In your own words, describe where are the testes located?

29.Reproductive System In your own words, describe where are the ovaries located?

30.Excretory System. What happens to blood that enters the kidneys?

31.Excretory System What organ connects the kidneys to the (urinary) bladder?

32.Nervous System. This video is long, and parts without sound. Please watch patiently. What makes up a frogs nervous system?

33.Muscular System. Which part of the body are frog’s muscles in the upper leg responsible for moving?

34.Skeletal System. How many bones are found in the axial region?

35.Skeletal System. How many bones are found in the appendicular?


After you are done with the website portion of this pre-lab, complete the following questions:

36.What is the purpose of this lab?

37.What lab safety guidelines will be practiced during this lab?

  1. 38.Sketch the pattern of where you should cut to make the first incision on your frog. Draw directly on the picture to the right.

When you are finished with the WebQuest here is a list of places to visit/things to do:

  1. 1.Take the Pre-Lab quiz below.

You must pass this with a score of 85% or better in order to do the dissection. No notes are allowed. This will count as a grade.

  1. 2.When you are done with the quiz, visit these additional sites for virtual frog dissections. When going through the dissections think about how they compare to the one we just went through.

After you have completed #1 and #2 above, you may choose which of the following to do in any order you want. I have ranked them based on the quality of the site, and how much I think you will enjoy them (highest to lowest). Some links ( will require you to watch a short ad before viewing the video.

1.Teacher guided video of a dissection of a rat. Good site. Awesome accent.

2.Colossal Squid. Here you can view virtual info as well as real photos and videos.

3.Digital Videos webpage. This page has video of dissection of sheep brain, frog heart, and crayfish brain. *WARNING* These videos are of live frogs being dissected. If you feel this will disturb you, then do NOT watch. This site is totally optional.

4.Pig Heart dissection video. This aussie guides you through the dissection of a pig heart. There is blood in this video. Great review of the heart, and its chambers.

5.Sheep eye dissection video. A little far away from video to see anything great, but good commentary. Too bad his class wont be quiet!

6.Frog Dissection Video. Long video, but great step-by-step for what to expect when dissecting a frog. No Audio.

7.Fetal Pig dissection pictures. This page contains photos that are labeled with the organs they are showing.

8.Rat dissection pictures.

9.Salmon Virtual dissection. This site is cheesy, but you may enjoy it if you like cheese.

10.Perch dissection pictures. This site contains a few pictures of the internal organs of male and female perch (fish).