Brain Observation Lab

John Here:

You really can’t go wrong getting out some brains and looking at them. We’ve moved into the Nervous System  in my classes and it’s time for the Sheep Brain Observation Lab Activity  in my class. Unfortunately, due to budget concerns, we don’t have enough to dissect but this lab gives students a firsthand look at a real brain, and since it can be argued that most teenagers are lacking a normal brain this gives them an idea of what they’re missing.  Science is a great subject to teach because the “hands on” opportunities are limitless. I mean a brain, on your desk, right in front of you??? Let’s see them try this in English class!



Our brains come in buckets that can be re-sealed which is great because you can re-use the brains for several years before they go bad.


While we are using sheep brains, structurally they are basically the same as ours, just not proportionally.



Students are taken through an observation of the brain and answer questions based on their observations.


There is also a writing component in which they must compare and contrast the cerebrum and cerebellum.


I teach in a place that is about as “inner city” as you can get and the experience the students get from this kind of stuff is invaluable. Next up we talk about reflexes. I think I’ll get out some reflex hammers and let them hit each other. Nothing could go wrong with that, could it??

Thanks for looking, let us know what you think!


The Teacher Team

2 Comments|Add your own comment below

  1. John,
    We just did the brain dissection yesterday, under the guidance of a medical student (she has an undergrad major in neuro studies of some kind). We had prepared by going through your notes and coloring some of the Anatomy Coloring Book. The student read through your lab, answering questions that required the book more than the (sheep) brain. During the dissection, we found the various structures and had a short lecture on structure and function. Thank goodness for the dissection sessions offered at the Museum of Medical Science in Houston, because I don’t have the equipment for this, even if I had the brains! We have already done the sheep eye and heart. I don’t think they do the cow femur, so I will start making contact with butchers…

    Thanks for all the labs and other materials in your Anatomy and Physiology Bundle from Teachers Pay Teachers!

    Joan G.

    1. You’re very welcome! I’m glad these units are helping you out. Let us know how it goes the rest of the year and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. It sounds like you’re doing great!


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