• Academic News
  • Sixth Form News

Learning Biology through practical lessons.

Mr Cannon taught a Year 12 Biology lesson this morning.  It was a practical lesson where the class dissected locusts.  The aim of the dissection was to identify the gas exchange system.

The lesson started with a video of a locust dissection.  The class then drew an anatomical diagram before the dissection began, on locusts that can be bought as pet food.

They cut off the wings and limbs and then used scissors to open up the exoskeleton. This enabled them to identify the tracheal and guts. The class then drew a labelled anatomical diagram.

They then viewed a section of the trachea under a microscope and drew a diagram of the trachea, the branched tracheoles and the air sac.  The class then analysed the results of the practical lesson and wrote up how gas exchange happens in insects.

Students then identified the gas exchange system on live locusts.  These locusts weren’t used for the dissection.

The students really enjoyed the lesson and found that the dissection helped to embed their knowledge.  Alfie Dudley-Warde said: “It was a really enjoyable lesson.  It was good fun to dissect the locust and I like it when we do practical work, I learn a lot from it.”  Sammy Brown added: “It’s really interesting to see how intricate the locust is in real life.  You don’t get that from a diagram in a book.  The practical lessons really reinforce my knowledge.”  

Elizabeth Geyer saw the beauty in the patterns on the locust’s wings and said: “It’s really cool seeing the patterns of life. The patterns on the locust wing are unique and very beautiful. My second A Level subject is Art and the patterns I see in Biology really inspires my art.”  Izaak Quinton added: “It’s more delicate that you’d expect, the wings are amazing.  I found the dissection really interesting, it’s a really good way to expand our knowledge.”

Mr Cannon added: “I really enjoy seeing the students get absorbed into the practical lessons.  They were really inquisitive and keen to look at different parts of the locust under the microscope.  This led to even more questioning and a deeper understanding of the topic.”


Video of the lesson



  • A Level Biology
  • A Levels
  • Biology
  • Biology Lesson