Usually when I need students to learn the structure of an object they will either draw or get an unlabelled diagram to begin. I get them to sometimes find information from books or they take note of where each structure is from diagrams on the board. This time I got the students to dissect an eye first using a specific set of notes which detailed and discussed all the structures and functions which they needed to know. When they had finished the dissection they listed the structures and functions of each part from memory, then they were given the blank diagram- they had discovered the structures and functions for themselves. Each student was able to label the diagram fully without having seen a labelled diagram before, and the next day I tested to see what they had learned and retained. The class achieved much better results.
For the scientists… or anyone who wants to dissect a cow’s eye http://www.exploratorium.edu/learning_studio/cow_eye/doit.html
Any questions, ask Susan White