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What do kids actually learn from dissecting a frog?

We are homeschooling this year and my son has expressed a desire to dissect a frog. I can get a complete kit for around $50 using a source I found online, but really, what is the motivation behind this? I remember doing dissection in school too, I dissected a fish that when I opened up found out it was pregnant. I don’t remember really learning anything other than the fact that I felt bad for taking this fish’s life, when it was about to lay eggs (even though I didn’t actually kill it, it was dead before it got into my hands.) Other than he’s a 12 year old boy and he’ll think it’s cool, what could he possibly learn from dissecting a frog? It’s not like the frog’s innards are the same as ours. LOL.

Top 10 Answers
Thrice Blessed

Favorite Answer


To dissect or not to dissect?

He can learn certain things from it, the way the muscles are attached to the bones is similar to our bodies, but yeah, in general it seems a little pointless to me. I will have my High school students do it so I can truthfully claim that their biology class was a “lab science”, but I really don’t think they are learning anything they couldn’t learn just as well by reading about it.

My oldest will soon volunteer for a vet office, I think she will learn more biology if she gets to watch a surgery than she will by cutting up an animal to poke around inside.

All that aside, if your son is interested in it you should probably let him do it, nothing squelches the desire to learn as much as only being allowed to study in ways you don’t want to and never in ways that you do want to.


4 years ago
Dissect A Frog Online

Janis B
I found another link that was actually better than this, but cannot find it right now.

I almost passed out when we did the actual dissection in the 9th grade and my science partner had to finish the project. What did I learn from that? That I did not want to be in the medical field.

Anyway, if I find the other link, I’ll come back and give it to you.

There are other ways of learning internal organs that don’t involve the smells of dead pickled frog.

Found it. The reason I couldn’t find it before was because it is a pig, not a frog…but close enough, huh?

Here ya go.


A frog’s innards aren’t exactly the same, but the setup and interrelation of organs is very similar. Both the similarities and the differences should be discussed over the course of study. Dissection is a very good way to teach physiology, the knowledge gained by practical experience is much more real to someone than just seeing it as a picture in a book. The higher level of involvement makes the knowledge much more memorable, as it were. Just take it very slowly, one system at a time. In an advanced class I took, we did a fetal pig. We took two semesters, and interspersed other dissections that helped to highlight the system we were looking at. (cow eye, sheep brain, sheep heart, and sheep kidney.) We went down to the cellular level, learned how to take samples, and made slides for microscopic examination. For skeletal study, we had a complete human skeleton model. It was so much easier to memorize all of the details when they were right there in 3D, and you could examine them. We finished up the course by dissecting a shark, and doing a compare/contrast study. Twenty years later, I still remember a surprising amount of detail.

Of course, being farm raised helped too. I was very familiar with where meat came from, from an early age, so I wasn’t put off by the experience.


OK, so I learned from your question that frogs’ bodies are like ours (ewww). If you’re not too keen on having frog parts lying around, I have heard of virtual frog dissection that you can view online. I just did a quick search for “virtual frog dissection” and found several. Don’t know the quality of any of these, but several were free.

If you choose to do the actual dissection yourself, Apologia has a kit that includes the materials needed to complete the dissection, as well as 4 different specimens (frog, crayfish, perch, and earthworm) for $36. Here’s the link:


When i dissected frogs in school, 3 years ago, I learned actually quite a lot. The frogs systems and organs are very similar to the human. And it helps kids, including me, understand how the body systems work together by hands on activity, not just reading it out of a book. You could see how the nose connects to the mouth and lungs, and all that other cool stuff about the body.

I hope that helps.


I have no education in this field. However; I am a mother of 3 boys and have learned much about them. They in general enjoy taking things apart so they have an understanding of how things work. I think as mothers we some times view this as “destructive” behavior, but if they were not like this, think of all the things that would not have been created. It is how they are supose to be. Dissecting a frog is a way of understanding the anatomy and how it works. It is like “hands on” vs. books or reading material. In college the subject for scientist or doctors would be humans. Since I do not have any education this is just my opinion, embrace his curiosity, you never know what great things he may achieve from his interest. I think as parents we forget they are their own individuals and don’t see the world as we do, and do we want them to?

Not sure, but you do learn.

Medical School students have to dissect CADDAVERS of humans. It’s required!

You learn what’s inside that way.

Michelangelo learns how to draw better humans by doing disections.

Science learned about the knee jerk from hooking up electrical charges to the muscle of a disected frog, proving that muscle contracts when charged with electricity.

So you learn something.

WHAT is hard to say.


Elizabeth L
How do you know your kiddo isn’t a surgeon waiting to happen? If he’s interested, get him the frog with your blessings! By the way, do you feel bad for eating meat? For wearing leather, for using resources that deplete animal habitats, for driving your car, etc.? That stuff all “kills” many more animals every minute than a decade’s worth of all the earthworms, frogs, fetal pigs, and other school dissection animals put together. Look at it in that perspective, and don’t feel bad about fish eggs or frog eggs. Fetal pigs are “harvested” from pigs sent to be butchered, so they never had a chance to be anything more than training tools for the new generation of medical professionals.

I like frogs and wished it had been something else and actually HATED the experience. That was 35 years ago and it’s hard to believe there are still frogs – theyve been killing frogs for so many years!

Anyway, it was the first time tie that I had seen that the organs were really concrete actual things. It was such an abstract thing and played a part in my decision to become a nurse. Altho I hated it – it seemed to make the whole thing with cells making organs and organs making systems more real to me.


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