Dissecting a Squid

  • Library books with information about squid, their body parts, and function. Make sure that the books have diagrams of a dissected squid.
  • One squid for every 2 students
  • newspaper
  • One scalpel for every 2 students
  • One scissors for every 2 students
  • One probe or forceps for every 2 students
  • One hand lens for every 2 students
  • Unlined notebook paper and pen for each student
Disecting Squid Movies
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Click for QT movie. (270K)


one As a class go over safety rules about dissecting. Emphasize that each student is responsible for their equipment and use of it.

two Together as a class go over the information about squid in the library books and the teacher text in this lesson plan. Answer any questions that the students may have about the parts of the squid. On the blackboard eraser well place the library books open so that the students can refer to the dissected pictures in the books while they are dissecting their squid.

three Have each team lay the squid on newspaper with the funnel facing up. Separate the two long tentacles from the eight shorter arms.

four Using a scalpel or scissors, have the students cut through the mantle from one end to the other, to one side of the ridge along the midline. Fold back the sides of the mantle.

five Have the students feel the mantle and locate the long, hard object within it. This is the pen. Remove the clear, plasticlike pen by pulling it away from the mantle.

six Then have the students locate and examine all the structures of the squid.

seven Have the students remove the ink sac, gills, and the tip of a tentacle. Ask them to take a closer look at these parts through a hand lens.

eight Ask each student to draw a rough picture of the dissected squid and label the various parts of the squid.

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Last modified: Sat Mar 21 19:17:05 PST 1998

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