Brain Dissect (Virtual)

This activity was created for remote learning during the 2020 pandemic, though it could also serve is a supplemental lesson or a make-up lab for the real dissection of the sheep brain.

In a traditional anatomy class, students dissect a sheep brain using the Sheep Brain Dissection Guide which walks them through identifying first external features of the brain and then internal features. In the classroom lab, I circulate around the room and help students identify structures or show them how to make cuts. Sheep brains are purchased from biological supply companies and are in a fixed solution, though I sometimes go to the butcher and get a fresh brain so that students can compare the textures. I also have human brain models set out for students to compare structures on the sheep brain to the human brain.

For students that do not have access to specimens (remote learners), this activity guides them through some of the same steps as a real dissection using descriptions and photos. Students read the descriptions and drag labels to the photos. The final slides ask students to match a description to a structure and label the whole brain, similar to the final task done in the real dissection.

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