5 Creative Ways to Teach Body Planes and Sections to Help Students Understand

Akanksha Saxena

The human body is a fascinating and intricate marvel of nature. Understanding its complex structure and organization is essential for medical professionals, researchers, and anyone curious about the workings of the human form. One of the fundamental concepts in the study of anatomy is the “use of body planes and sections” which allows us to explore and comprehend the body’s internal and external structures with precision.

When educators introduce this subject to students and delve into the world of anatomical exploration, students often stumble at the novel terminologies and concepts.  Explaining the “importance of anatomical position”, a standardized reference point from which all anatomical descriptions are derived, can be further challenging in the dearth of visualization tools.  This is why, we, at Labster have pooled 5 creative strategies for you to easily navigate your students through the three-dimensional aspects of the human body.

1. Use Interactive Models and Simulations

Educators can rely on interactive models and simulations as both serve as powerful pedagogical tools to comprehensively teach about complex topics like body planes and sections. You can plan on integration of Interactive Virtual Labs from Labster where students can actively engage in lab handling techniques and cement their understanding of the importance of these concepts in “locating injuries and organs within the human body. 

Since interactive models offer the option to visualize anatomical positions, you can provide students with an opportunity to explore various body planes and sections. They can further extend their knowledge to different animals, thereby facilitating a way to learn “comparative anatomy”. 

Preview of Regions of the body simulation.

2. Learning with Games and Activities

You can ingeniously incorporate gamification elements in your teaching modules as they serve as invaluable tools to effectively convey the idea of body planes and sections. 

  1. Another idea is to use virtual games where students are continually challenged while navigating through virtual bodies/dummies. As they venture and find their way through diverse body planes and sections, they will get to learn about the intriguing anatomies of different organs. 
  2. No doubt, games can prove instrumental in “honing directional terminology” as students are prompted to identify and treat simulated external wounds. This will foster practical skills with a sense of fun and engagement.  

3. Infusing Technology into Study Plans

In this digital era of education, we recommend that educators make the maximum use of the cutting-edge technology at our disposal to revolutionize the way that we teach anatomy to students. 

There are n number of ways in which this can be materialized!

  • 3D Simulations (for exploring an array of body sections and planes in the human body)
  • Virtual Labs (for virtually identifying and treating external wounds with precision)
  • Augmented reality (for a vivid description of the human body using directional and regional terms)

4. Inspiring Learners by Connecting to Career Prospects

A clear understanding of body planes and sections holds immense utility in several prospective career paths ranging from medical and healthcare sectors to veterinarians and wildlife biologists. 

  • For aspiring physicians, surgeons, and radiologists, a comprehensive grasp of anatomical planes and directional terminology is indispensable for accurate diagnoses, surgical procedures, and medical imaging interpretation. 
  • Veterinarians and wildlife biologists also apply their knowledge of different body planes in various animal species. This allows them to diagnose and treat injuries in diverse wildlife populations.  A similar scenario is exemplified in Labster’s Body Planes and Sections Simulation where students can be engaged in a mini-activity of fixing up the superficial wounds suffered by chimps using the principles of body planes and sections.
Preview of Directional terms simulation.
Discover Labster's Body Planes and Sections virtual lab today!

5. Connecting the Topic to Real-World Applications

Connecting the topic of body planes to its practical relevance in the real world can serve as a stand-out method to inspire students. You can educate them about how in the medical realm, physicians and surgeons utilize an understanding of body planes to precisely locate and diagnose injuries. The science of radiology relies entirely on the clarity of body planes as it facilitates the correct interpretation of medical images and aids the identification of abnormalities in organs and tissues. You can also elaborate on how biotechnological advances rely heavily on anatomical reference planes as bioengineers exploit them to design medical devices or prosthetics, ensuring optimal fit and functionality.  

Final thoughts

Since body planes and sections form the foundation for understanding the complexities of the human body and its vital functions, we must prioritize clarity of idea and visualization of the planes in the student’s mind. For this reason, we must instill a sense of interconnectedness with the natural world in our students. Labster promotes modernization of how we educate our future STEM scientists through its well-researched and technically coherent simulations. Together, we can promote a holistic approach to healthcare and scientific inquiry!


  1. Schott, D., Saalfeld, P., Schmidt, G., Joeres, F., Boedecker, C., Huettl, F., ... & Hansen, C. (2021, March). A VR/ar environment for multi-user liver anatomy education. In 2021 IEEE Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR) (pp. 296-305). IEEE.
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