Warning: Not for the squeamish.
Touching brains, lungs, livers, hearts is quite an experience. It’s not recommend on an empty stomach, but it’s something in education that needs to be seen to truly appreciate. Too often things get lost in the written word, images or video. Sometimes you just got to touch the real thing to have that mental connection. Once you get over the gross factor (organs stored in formaldehyde for decades right before lunch), you can appreciate that what you’re holding is being held inside your body.
This type of learning is one of the best, but it’s also one of the rarest. I’d love to have access to microscopes and museums, laboratories and zoos at the whim for a lesson. Take a field trip to the south before reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Sadly, most of the time you’re in the classroom, limited to the materials on hand. ButI fret not, because I know it’ll just take a little bit of creativity on my part and on the students’ to appreciate the world. Sometimes we can’t touch the world, but if our imagination is strong enough, we may be able to set foot on a distant planet.