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Students write apology to dissected frogs

RMS science teacher invites students to get personal

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, March 10, 2014

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Dylan Tate, left, and Ryan Young teamed up to dissect

Jim Fair

Dylan Tate, left, and Ryan Young teamed up to dissect "Freddie The Frog".



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Emily  Patterson, left, Lea Neufeld and Rebecca Dunn described the

Jim Fair

Emily  Patterson, left, Lea Neufeld and Rebecca Dunn described the "squeamish" part of dissecting frogs.



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Dylan Tate, left, and Ryan Young told how they grabbed each frog to determine the biggest in making their selection.

Jim Fair

Dylan Tate, left, and Ryan Young told how they grabbed each frog to determine the biggest in making their selection.



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Mrs. Richane Robbins, 7th grade science teacher who assigned the dissection, was on a conference call with the students reminding Emily Patterson, left, Lea Neufeld and Rebecca Dunn of a homework assignment.

Jim Fair

Mrs. Richane Robbins, 7th grade science teacher who assigned the dissection, was on a conference call with the students reminding Emily Patterson, left, Lea Neufeld and Rebecca Dunn of a homework assignment.



Students at Riverside Middle School have issued written apologies to the frogs they dissected.

Dear Freddy the Frog,

I am sorry that I dissected you. It was to learn stuff and my teacher made us.

Ryan

Dear Mrs. Croaker,

We did this because our class needed a visual of the digestive system (even though I would have been content with just watching the video).

Ashlyn

Dear Mrs. Bobette, the Frog, 

I am so sorry. Thanks for sacrificing your life so we can have a very memorable experience.

Sincerely, Joe.

PS: Chris did most of the cutting.

Dear Frog,

I am really grateful for this experience, even though it was really disgusting (no offense).

Lea

Dear Frog,

I am sorry that I had to rip all of your insides out. However, I am happy you allowed me to because I learned a lot. Including the fact that I won’t take any science classes in high school that do dissection, or others again.

Your dissector.

Rebecca

Dear Freddy the Frog,

I think my favorite part was right after we popped your first eye out and then we tried to get your other eye out but couldn’t find it. It probably fell onto the floor but it was still exciting.

Your best dissector.

Ryan

Ms. Richane Robbins, 7th grade science teacher, said the letters were intended to get the students to, “process what they learned. The students wrote the apology letter to explain why they did the dissection, how gateful they were for the experience and to give details what they learned.

"I could still read if they had any misconceptions. I was surprised how they thought the frog was asleep and that’s something I took for granted. I wanted to see it in their eyes.

“I wanted to put my little twist on writing about it because sometimes (students) are not willing to speak up in class but do in writing,” she said.

Robbins said kids at a young age might think they want to be a doctor. “Then they dissect a frog and say they hate it. I tell them that maybe they don’t want to be a doctor. Really, if this stuff grosses you out, you might want to choose a different career path.”

The letters were detailed in what the students learned describing how surprised they were at the size of the organs, their location and the similiarity to the human body.

Five students shared their thoughts on writing apologies to the frog they named and described their thoughts on what they learned.

Lea Neufeld:  “I thought writing an apology was a good idea because usually after lab we do work sheets and answer questions. I think this was a fun way to explain what we actually did in the lab. I wrote that I was so sorry for cutting him up but I learned a bunch of stuff, about his digestive system and circulatory system. His lungs were so tiny and his heart was also. It was more personal.

Emily Patterson: “Our frog was named with our last names put together. I think the apology letter helps because with tests you are just answering questions mindlessly. In the letter you can say it in a way it helps you learn. The heart was like a triangle. I thought the lungs would be bigger, they were all wrinkled and gross. The frog’s tongue was different, it was like it was attached to the front and rolled back.

Dylan Tate: “We (dissecting partner Ryan Yount) just came up with a name to make it fun – ‘Freddie the Frog’. One of the surprises was when I picked it up water squirted all over my shirt. It was in the third period, right before lunch. That night I had spaghetti. I mentioned to my parents (the spaghetti) looked just like a part of the frog. Neither said anything, but just ‘try to eat it’. I could barely eat, I kept thinking of the frog.”

Ryan Yount:  “Our frog was missing an eyeball. It wasn’t there and may have rolled back in his head. We tried to bounce an eyeball but it didn’t bounce. I told my mother what we did and she is a pathologist and said she had some stories we didn’t want to get into.

Rebecca Dunn: One frog had cancer and another was pregnant. I used a glove both days and didn’t touch the frog. Their eyes were like Orbeez. It was really gross because there was a lot of fluid inside the frog. I had some chicken for dinner that night and ripped off some liver by accident that reminded me of the frogs. (All the students chimed in with ooh!). My mom told me she took all the science classes that didn’t have you dissecting because she didn’t want to do it.

None of the students are planning on becoming doctors or veterinarians.

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