Human Anatomy Lesson Plans and Review Guides
Are you looking for lesson plans and review guides for school, homeschooling, or as additional study materials to help a student improve their grades in anatomy? In this article, we cover K-12 lesson plans that can be used at home as well as in the classroom. Help your students to develop a love of natural sciences and an understanding of how their own bodies work as well as how life on this planet develops and thrives.
Explore this branch of natural science that deals with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is vital part of biology. It helps students to develop an understanding of the function of organisms, including humans!
The anatomy branch of natural science is broken into two subsections: macroscopic and microscopic anatomy. Macroscopic anatomy, which is also known as gross anatomy, is the investigation of body parts that we can see with the eye. Microscopic anatomy takes the exploration to the next level with the use of optical instruments to see cells, tissues, and other structures that we may not be able to see on our own. Both are great ways to learn about anatomy, and a complete curriculum will include both so that students gain a fuller understanding of how our bodies work and what they are composed of.
The information that is learned within anatomy lessons can be applied in a wide variety of professional fields including medicine and art. With an understanding of anatomy and physiology, students can progress into studying for a variety of careers. An education that includes anatomy can open the doors to becoming a:
- Animal scientist
- Biomedical engineer
- Environmental scientist
- Food scientist
- Medical doctor
- Nuclear medicine physician
- Nursing instructor
- Soil and plant scientist
- And more!
- MedicinePlus: Anatomy
Anatomy is a great way for children to learn about their bodies and the function of each organ. It also helps in developing their understanding of the natural world around them. At this stage, lessons begin with identifying bones and organs within humans and familiar animals and include defining the purposes and locations of those organs.
Art projects can often be integrated into lesson plans so that visual and tactile learners can grasp the concepts and become more aware of the location, shape, and size of various organs and body parts. Not only does this help learners, but it can also make lesson plans more fun for everyone.
Resources to explore:
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: Go fish!
- United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service: Caterpillar anatomy
- US Fish and Wildlife Service: Native fish in the classroom: Manual and activities guide to fishes in New Mexico
- UT Health San Antonio, Teacher Enrichment Initiatives: Give your bones a break: Bone anatomy
- Paul Getty Museum: Insect anatomy and the scientist as illustrator
These grades begin to develop a deeper understanding of both plant and animal physiology. At this level, more abstract ideas are introduced, and more complex information can begin to be digested.
This is a particularly good stage at which to explore fish anatomy and physiology, as well as to examine anatomy within the larger life cycle and environment. Anatomy can be integrated into more complex and thorough natural science lesson plans that explore humans and animals within their ecosystems.
Resources to explore:
- State of Maryland: Sunfish in the classroom
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: The secret in the cellar
- Exploratorium: Human Anatomy
- Coastal Carolina University, NSF GK-12 Fellows Program: Comparative anatomy lab: Dolphins versus humans
- Colorado School of Mines: The body systems lesson plan
More complex lesson plans are available at the high school level as students begin to seriously explore their future career interests and the importance of sciences for many career choices. This is when students begin to develop study habits and academic choices that will impact their education throughout the college years. It Is important not only to go into depth with the subject matter, but also to link it to real-world uses and college major choices.
Resources to explore:
- Centers for Disease Control: CDC science ambassador lesson plan index
- Colorado State University Extension: Cat anatomy and physiology
- Duke University: Anatomy/physiology class high school 11th and 12th
- University of Missouri: Anatomy: Muscular system
- Sam Houston State University: Unit 7: Anatomy and physiology of livestock species
Do you want to explore the natural science of anatomy without a lesson plan? There are plenty of ways to learn about anatomy both inside and outside of the classroom. Here are some great science resources for learning more in a less structured manner:
Learn about the history of anatomy through a US National Library of Medicine article on the science of anatomy. Anatomy is one of the oldest sciences with a long history going back thousands of years. It is definitely worth spending time to learn about the development behind how we view anatomy and physiology today.
Read about human anatomy and physiology and take quizzes to check your knowledge at Khan Academy online. This free online resource is available to students of all ages. The courses are self-paced, and progress can be tracked if you have a free account on their website.
Check out the list of 7 trending medical YouTube channels to help you study at the American Institute of Medical Sciences and Education. YouTube can be a great place to watch educational videos from trusted sources on anatomy topics if you know which channels to go to for accurate information.
Explore the visual anatomy resources listed on the the Texas Health and Science University website. These are a great way to discover the science of anatomy if you have a visual learner. Some of the resources have a 3D component for enhanced investigation.
Check out Washington State University in St. Louis to learn more about what careers in the life sciences are available for students interested in pursuing further education. It is never too early to start planning for the future!