Three Things I Learned Dissecting a Worm; I’m Naming Mine “Miss Manners”!
As we arrive in parking lot, we look forward to the adventures of the day. This story is about one particular Friday morning in the Elementary.
Although all was neat and ready as usual, there was a particular sense of anticipation in the air. The box from Carolina Biological had arrived and had been opened and a table had been set up for the Earthworm dissection. There was the cylinder with the worms, trays and tools for dissection, a picture of the earthworm, pins and an eye-dropper for water.
The group assembled. We began selecting a worm from the tube for each tray. We worked in teams of two.
Each worm was set out on a tray.
We began labeling the external parts of the earthworm.
Sketches were begun at the side of each tray.
The work of pinning began. This steadies the specimen and allows us to make an even incision. As we did so, we used a dropper to keep the earthworm from drying too much.
As we began to make an incision in the outer layer, we continued to pin this layer to the side so that we could see the internal structures. We had to be very careful not to press too hard and cut too deep. We were successful!
Looking closely, we could see the mouth, the brain, hearts, stomachs, sperm sacs, and a long digestive tube for each. We were hoping to find an ant or small beetle in the upper reaches of one of the digestive tubes, and, we became quite expert at counting hearts.
For more labelling, we had to be sure of a few things. Is that muscle tissue?
For this, we had to put the piece of mystery tissue on a slide. . .
. . .put the slide on the stage of the microscope, turn on the light and look at it carefully.
These are the things I learned from the experience of dissecting an earthworm:
1) Be gentle. If you push too hard, you will miss what you are looking for.
2) Be patient. Things are not always what they seem at first.
3) Ask for help. If you need it.
Guess I should name my worm “Miss Manners.” Each team named our worms.