Internal Anatomy

Instructional Level: High School

Driving Question(s):

How do environmental, ecosystem and anthrogenic impacts influence or interact with the anatomical structures and functions of the eastern oyster and related conservation and restoration efforts of this keystone species?

LESSON PLAN STANDARDS:

NGSS: HS-LS1-2

Exploration

This activity combines a hands-on exploration with an online resource.  Teachers can walk through the activity with the entire class or students can work independently.  An offline resource is also available for download to a local computer.The oyster has a relatively simple morphology, anatomy and ecological niche.

Objectives:

Students will:

  • Study and observe the structure and function of the internal anatomy of the eastern oyster.

Lesson Materials:

For Lab:

  • Oyster knife
  • Sturdy gloves
  • Artificial saltwater (10-15ppt)
  • Computer access

Per Lab Group:

  • Live oysters
  • Shallow glass or plastic dishes (min 2” depth)
  • Probes
  • Forceps
  • Computer access
  • Internal Anatomy Worksheet (1 per student)
  • Stereomicroscopes (optional)
  • Large magnifying glasses (optional)

Procedures:

Preparation

  1. Prepare 2 gallons of artificial saltwater (10-15 ppt).
  2. Shuck 1 oyster per lab group and 1 for demonstration (for safety purposes it is not advised to have students shuck their own oysters).  Use the hinge method to shuck the oyster to ensure that its internal anatomy stays intact. In this method, you will be removing the right valve of the oysters – be sure to leave the oyster attached to its left valve.
  3. Place oyster (in the left valve) in a dish and submerge the oyster in artificial seawater (none of the oyster or its valve should be exposed above the surface.

Explore

  1. Give each student group their own shucked oyster/dish combination.
  2. Give students 2 minutes to write down observations –these observations can include inferences.
  3. Have students share their observations and/or inferences and record for classroom use.
  4. As a class or independently, have students access and complete the internal anatomy lab

Explain

  1. Working in their groups, have students discuss comparative anatomy related to one of the following:   
    • oyster gills vs fish gills
    • oyster heart vs human heart
    • oyster mantle vs human skin  

Evaluate

  1. Have students complete the Internal Anatomy Worksheet (Assessment of major organs and water flow).
  2. Have students share their sketches for peer to peer evaluation.
  3. Provide opportunity for students to explain their sketch using critical thinking and reasoning skills.

 

Standards:

Next Generation Science Standards

Performance Expectation:  HS-LS1-2

  • SEP: Developing and Using Models
    • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds.
      • Develop and use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system. (HS-LS1-2)
  • DCI: Structure and Function
    • Multicellular organisms have a hierarchical structural organization, in which any one system is made up of numerous parts and is itself a component of the next level. (HS-LS1-2)
  • CC: Structure and Function
    • Multicellular organisms have a hierarchical structural organization, in which any one system is made up of numerous parts and is itself a component of the next level. (HS-LS1-2)

Maryland E-Lit Standards

  • None

References:

Hinge method of shucking an oyster

Internal anatomy lab

Internal Anatomy Worksheet (pdf)

**Use of images with permission, J. Adam Frederick**

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