Reflections on student ages

In class this week with Andrea we were asked to do a 3, 2, 1 where we identified our three favorite teaching moments, two biggest struggles, and one theory of learning science that we experienced this year. As a class, our theories were fairly similar and we all got to ooh and aah at each other’s favorite teaching moments but what really revealed our deepest thoughts in teaching, in my opinion, was when we discussed our struggles. We all had very diverse struggles and I imagine diverse struggles will continue to be a part of our careers … forever, probably. My struggle that I chose to identify was bringing content to students at the right level; more specifically, not going to far beyond what they need to know even if it’s super cool and I love talking about it.

I found this to be a smaller issue in my high school placement because chemistry is, by nature, intricate and full of nuances. However, where this struggle really took center stage was in my middle school placement. Because I was stretching myself, and teaching content that I hadn’t learned since I was 14 or 15 years old, I found myself spending a lot of time on Wikipedia and other Google search results to broaden my understanding of a topic so that I could talk about it in class. At first this sounded like a really good approach, so that I could answer any question and provide background if needed, but in reality it just ended up leading me to make my lessons and assignments more complicated than they needed to be. This ended up leading to a few very messy lessons and split-second lesson changes in the 4 minutes of passing time between my first and second classes. It was a good test of my flexibility and perseverance but definitely misrepresented my lesson planning abilities because I was stretching my students and myself too thin.

Switching from high school to middle school was hard; a lot harder than I thought it would be. Compounded into that transition is the fact that I went from co-planning everything to leading a room much more independently and the fact that some of my new students were as many as SIX years younger than my prior students. Turns out, this age difference creates an entirely different dynamic between teacher and student which I, once again, wasn’t expecting.

I don’t want to start going into sweeping generalizations of each age group because every kid is different from each other and there are probably middle schoolers with high schoolers’ personalities, and high schoolers with middle schoolers’ personalities. However, as groups of students, high schoolers and middle schoolers require very different things, which I’m sure change between years and between classes. This constant ebb and flow of student personalities and student needs are part of what make teaching fun, and definitely are a part of why I believe I will always enjoy teaching and adapting to new groups of students. However, some of the stark differences that I did notice between the two age groups did create a more stressful and intense experience than I was expecting. I think if I could do it over again I would do better, but I guess that’s really the whole point of student teaching, right?

One last thing before my Wall of Awesome

As many of your already know, today was our last day at our 8-week placements and so just like that, we’ve officially hit our “Wall of Awesome.” For my last day in middle school I knew I needed to gather some data on student comprehension of my most recent unit, evolution, but I also was reluctant to give a test on my final day. In order to work around this, I gave a mini- quiz/workshop that was open notes in order to assess student understanding of the major concepts in evolution. It was meant to be a quick assessment; five multiple choice with an “explain your choice” part attached and 10 short answer questions based upon a cladogram and a fossil diagram. Before I gave my students the workshop/exam, we did a set of practice questions that were similar to what the short answer were on the test to get them back in the mindset of evolution, since it had been three days since I last taught because of unrelated, uncontrollable conflicts.

The assessment itself, from a first glance, seemed to go well. It definitely took everyone longer than I had anticipated and so I found myself rushing to get my surveys done and thank-yous handed out. However, my students seem to be cladogram champs.

Overall, I am happy with my decision not to give a formal test but to give an assessment that looked very similar to their past workshops. The familiarity with the layout and expectations seemed to help everyone and the fact that I allowed them to use any and all notes (but no help from friends) seemed to lower the stakes so that it was a less stressful environment. That being said, there were some hurdles that I would need to think through more if I use this format in the future.; because this wasn’t formally labeled as a “test” I had a more challenging time keeping the room quiet so that everyone could work in the most beneficial environment. I believe this is because I encourage a lot of collaboration in workshop usually and so it was a tougher transition into a relatively short, silent workshop time. Additionally, I planned to give each class about half an hour to finish the workshop assessment and ended up giving very close to this amount of time. Because we started it halfway through the period instead of at the beginning there was no way for me to give students more time to totally finish it if they weren’t finished already. How would you go about remedying this without making in a more formal, higher stakes environment?

I found this to work well, but I definitely see the positive sides of traditional tests. How often is it reasonable to use more informal, low stakes assessments when they resemble workshops that are more collaborative? And if collaboration is encouraged how can individual understanding be assessed in a way that can inform me of specific needs rather than general misunderstandings? This experience did open up a lot of questions but it did show me a viable way to assess understandings in a lower stakes environment. Given the chance to try it again I think I would just need to make some tweaks to the layout and implementation so that it can stand up on its own as a true assessment without losing its “workshop-y” feel.

Poisons in Jazz Age New York City

So, I know I already posted my book talk paper that I read over winter break but I just recently started another chemistry based book and thought it’d be a great read for some of you all. I had actually hoped to read this book initially when Jo Ann explained what the book talk book had to be but alas, after searching for my original copy it seemed to have found itself left behind at my ex-boyfriend’s house halfway across the country and so, I set to find a new book which resulted in this paper and book talk.

I had talked to Jill at length about how much I wished I could have that original book back but didn’t want to reach out in order to get it back and so Jill, being a true PIC/BFF and the SpongeBob to my Patrick, got me a new copy for Christmas this year =). The book is called “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York” by Deborah Blum. Luckily, over break I have been able to start reading it for my third time and have really enjoyed it so far even more than the first two times (I’m only halfway right now). The main reason I think I’m enjoying it so much more this time around is because of how well it demonstrates the nature of science and how being included into the culture of science is seen as a privilege given to very few (when it really isn’t that way). And therefore, here is a halfway-point book talk about a second book!

 

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Science in Jazz Age New York

The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Science in Jazz Age New York

Title: The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

Author: Deborah Blum

Big Idea: Science is tentative and often seen as exclusive of other disciplines

 

In this book, Blum breaks up the history of poisonings in 1920s New York City into each category of poisons, as they seem to have a rather chronological path through time. The book covers the many poisons including chloroform, wood alcohol, the cyanides, arsenic, mercury, carbon monoxide, methyl alcohol, radium, ethyl alcohol, and thallium.

Each chapter includes several aspects of the history of poisonings in Jazz Age New York in order to paint a vivid picture of all that happened to make forensic medicine and poisoning the complex yet intriguing spider web that they are today.

First, within each chapter is a historical account of how forensic medicine really got its’ footing in the laboratory and, more importantly, in the court rooms of New York. The chapters start by telling of the corruption within the medical examiner’s office and later on how it gets reversed and forensic medicine makes incredible strides forward by hiring a top pathologist, Dr. Charles Norris, from Bellevue Hospital at the time who went to great lengths to develop newer, more precise, and more sensitive tests to determine how a person had died. The chapters also includes multiple stories showing how a particular poison was used, often in multiple ways, in order to get rid of someone whom the poisoner didn’t want around (for whatever reason). These stories start with explanations of the crime scene, moving towards the story of what Dr. Norris and his team did in the lab to determine cause of death, and ending with the stories from the courtroom of who said what, what the verdict was, and what the (assumed) story of what really happened was. Some chapters include extra ties to things occurring in history at that time, for example the invention of the car, its’ increased popularity, and the ties to the increase in carbon monoxide and tetraethyl lead (TEL) (linked to mercury poisoning) deaths in car and gasoline factories).

Overall, “The Poisoner’s Handbook” tells an incredible, scientific and historical, account of how poisoning changed forensic medicine forever. The stories included within these pages cover multiple viewpoints of history including legal, scientific, historical, political, and technological of Jazz Age New York, which combine to create a colorful painting of what Jazz Age New York looked like, from both sides of the courtroom. People who would enjoy this book include people with scientific interests, people with medical interests, people with legal interests, as well as anyone with a strong sense of curiosity surrounding crime and science. Having a chemistry background would help in your initial understanding of the poisons before Blum discusses them; but, her descriptions of the physiological effects as well as her explanations of why these compounds and elements were so dangerous for human contact mean anyone could enjoy and understand the inner workings of poisoning in the Jazz Age of New York City through reading “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Science in Jazz Age New York.”

The Concept Map to End All Concept Maps

This week I did my book talk for all of you and together we created something that I had talked about in my book talk. In my book talk paper I had said that my book, Napolean’s Buttons by Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson, could stand as a single book or be broken into its chapters for use in a chemistry classroom. Whichever way the book is utilized it would be really beneficial to make a class-wide concept map for the major compounds and themes within the book, you could even include some historical figures as well but that would add to the complexity that is already outrageous.

As most of you who were there remember, I passed out short chapter summaries that were about two paragraphs long as ask you all to skim and pick out major topics. Because we were pressed for time I prepared most of the bubbles for the concept map already prewritten on the white board. These words included the compounds covered in each chapter as well as major themes such as war, trade, exploration, healthcare, etc. I made a practice concept map the night before in all black pen and the paper basically ended up looking like I drew a giant, blobby spider web. However, by including different colors for you all to write in our creation in class was much more appealing and even more complex. If I were to do this again, which I would like to, I would have made each team add their connections in a different color so that we could see which chapters and teams contributed to which connections. Below is a picture of our masterpiece, I’m sure with more time and possibly having read the actual chapters instead of just summaries, we could have made it even more fantastic.

Book Talk Concept Map

Reflections and Rochester

This week, as many of you are already aware of, is many of our first interviews for grown-up jobs. In preparing for this with the cohort I was prompted to reflect on all that we have done up until this point and find some shining moments for us to really highlight on Saturday. This reflection started for me at my first placement, since that’s where I really felt I got my teacher voice and persona down. However; after delving deeper into our journeys thus far it became more and more clear to me that all the hoops we jumped through for GRS are really rich experiences that, in retrospect, challenged me much more than my placements have. Now, that’s not to say that I haven’t felt overwhelmed and at the breaking point at either of my placements, but it does say, heck it screams, that science in all spaces (authentic, culturally relevant, scientifically relevant) plays a monumental role in a cultivating a student’s scientific identity.

At the placement I’m in right now I actually teach one of my campers from this past August. At camp this camper became my project for the week and I really wanted to get him invested like the rest of our team was at the time. However, at school these days that same camper, now my student, is a leader in the classroom and really identifies with science being a part of his life. Now, maybe at camp he didn’t want to be there, or he didn’t see the point, but something happened between camp and today where he gets it now. He’s already asking me what the investigation is going to be next year and was quite disappointed to hear that we wouldn’t be the team leaders again.

I have felt slightly out of place in middle school but have started to really get it as of late. Seeing as a good portion of my current students haven’t taken science formally yet in school many of them need many more scaffolds than at my other placement; where the students were older and more familiar with how to participate in science. These additional scaffolds that need to be included for my students have really started to push me back to camp and STARS where we had to make it relevant and fun for our learners to increase their buy in.

It seems like one of the ways to do this is to include the community, which is all over our evaluation rubrics and other Warner materials, but is a real challenge for some units. For my opening lesson in Evolution I taught about fossils and rock layers and based it all around the Rochester Gorge at Lower Falls, which is a familiar and relevant place to many of my students. My CT commented after the day was over that it all clicked together really well in that lesson, which was structured similarly to past lessons of mine, but it did have much more buy in from students of all abilities because they all have a story about the Gorge and all want to have some fun facts to take to impress their family members at home. Seeing how well this went for me I am publicly challenging myself to include more pieces of the community and surrounding areas of Rochester in my future lessons whenever it works. It really sparked some interest in my current students, including my past camper at camp, and I think it can promote the inclusion of science into a student’s identity, especially in students with less background in science who haven’t realized that it is really all around us all the time and so it is relevant to their lives.

Exciting activities versus structure and routine

Recently I feel like I’ve been challenged more at my recent placement and a lot of it stems from the space that I’m working in. The school where I’m at is currently working at full capacity, even slightly over capacity in some grade levels, and thus classrooms are being used almost every block each day (including lunch for the middle schoolers). Because of this and the added hurdle that my classroom is only slightly larger than my living room, I have recently felt more confined and stuck than usual. Also, because we are in the basement of a renovated nursing home my science classroom isn’t the least bit “science-y.” We do have lab table-style desks but other than that my room could easily be a social studies, English, or foreign language room with absolutely no evidence that science was once done there.

Because I am starting a new unit this coming week, that I hope can be more inquiry based and exploratory for my students, I am getting stuck with what activities are feasible in my space. There is a lab type workshop that Ryan developed and we worked together to perfect (that he blogged about) that I’m hoping to use with my students that spans over two class periods and talks about adaptations and mutations within species that are harmful, neutral, and advantageous. My struggle with this it that it asks for one “island” of desks that the students work around on day one and then two “islands” on day two. More specifically, being that I have 27 students, nine lab tables, and three or four teachers in each class there isn’t much room to arrange the desks in a way that would be beneficial during both the workshop and our bridge/summary/closure time.

My CT, her co-teacher, and our inclusion teacher are very against letting our kids move around mostly because of space and because many of them can’t handle themselves in a less constricted classroom setting. I’m torn over whether I should modify the activity to fit my space and limitations or if I should work to make my room arranged as I would ideally have it for this activity and give my students more freedom than they’re used to. The latter of these has the potential to completely blow up in my face, but the former would require me to really scale back the sample size for the activity (working as a whole class gathering data vs. working as a table of three to gather data).

What would all of you do in a situation like this, give the students more freedom for a more exciting workshop or provide more structure and scale back the variety in the lesson? Reasons why will be helpful as well, of course. A link to the activity I’m talking about will be added once Ryan blogs about it.

How does my body protect itself from what I can’t see?

Hi everyone, so today I taught a lesson on the immune system and wanted to share it with you all because it had a lot of engaging pieces that might work well for all of us in the future. Because I worked with some chemicals today I had my students wear goggles and gloves as they would if they were doing a regents level lab. Also, because of the size constraints of my room I ask that my students stay seated for class, which did limit one activity significantly.

My focus question for the day was “How does my body protect itself from what I can’t see?” It was interesting for the students and they really did gasp the main idea in the end, using connections from most of my activities.

I started with a bridge that asked how the students thought germs were spread and how quickly they could spread. This brought up a lively discussion in all three classes of the different types of germ transmission between people.

Following my short bridge I did a model of a cold spreading, like Jill did for STARS. Unfortunately because of the size of my room all my students stayed in their seats for the first two classes, and then in the third I modified the model to be entirely a demo that I manipulated with the help of my CT. For my first two classes students were instructed to share a part of their liquid with four other people and to record their names. In the last class my CT and I mixed the cups while a timer counted down one minute. After this I shared that we started with two cups being infected with a cold and this indicator (phenolphthalein) would indicate if someone was sick but it turning the liquid pink in each person’s cup. Students were asked to take about a minute to make a prediction and then I went around adding a drop of indicator to each student’s cup. I asked that infected students raise their hand to keep track of who got sick. This got them very engaged as they were all hoping that they hadn’t contracted the cold. In the end I averaged about 25 out of 30 infected cups, which was what I was hoping for.

I ended up making major modifications to this model after further talking through the safety considerations with some teachers in the building and considering the typical behavior of my last class. My first class handled the activity very well, which I can’t say surprised me because they are my best class. However, my second class is my most challenging, and in hindsight I think it would have been best if I had cut this demo out for them, they were very off task and distracted and it led to a small spill at one table. Because of all this I decided to have the class observe me while I did a shortened version of the demo at an open table. This still got the point across to everyone but was less exciting for them, especially when I was walking around with the phenolphthalein.

I was torn about this part of my lesson because I was really excited to do this model with my students. However, because of the chemicals involved (bleach) I got advice telling me to avoid it all together and to take very serious, strict safety precautions. Done over I’d like to try to model with a more safe base (or acid) and was wondering if anyone had some ideas. Obviously I could change indicators to account for using an acid, like white vinegar, but it hadn’t crossed my mind until I debriefed with Jo Ann that that was an option. Also, there is something cool to be said for the hot pink that the phenolphthalein turns in a basic solution.

Following this demo/model, two of the classes this segued nicely into my showing on “The Sneeze” because students identified sneezing without covering your mouth as a way germs spread; my third class required a bit more facilitation from me to make the jump to the video. The link for this video, if you haven’t seen it is below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKiQA5e-fPg

Then we spent a majority of the remaining class in reading stations with short blurbs about specific pieces of the immune system. This section worked well for me because I gave two of my three classes two minutes to silently read and then three minutes to answer the corresponding questions. For my third class I read the blurbs to them as a class because of some of my students’ lower reading levels.

I had an additional YouTube video that I found that appears student made that put a nice review on the four stations together. Unfortunately we only got to watch this video in one class because of time constraints but in the one class it made a world of difference in tying all the major concepts of the lesson together. Below is the link to that video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxU8c4vEHWk

We followed this video up with summary and closure, as we always do at my placement.  The summary asked students to answer the day’s focus question and the closure asked students “If a vaccine allows your body to produce antibodies against a specific germ, why do you think we need to get a new flu shot each year?”  This question worked well and got a variety of responses, including some variation of the right response; that is, that the flu “germ” changes slightly each year and so the antibodies aren’t as effective between flu season.

I attached my 4.9 Immune System Workshop4.9 Immune System Readings and 4.9 Immune System HW materials below for this lesson. It was done in a 70 minute class period but could also be broken into two pieces if need be. Ideally, to not be rushed, I think I could have used an extra ten minutes or so but given the hurdles thrown at me it went better than I expected in two of my three classes. I’m open to any suggestions or comments, as I’m sure you all have ideas that could improve on this work.

What do Rubber, Morphine, Purple Dye, and Nylon all have in common?

This week I wanted to share my book that I read for our book talk papers.  Although the book is on the longer side I really enjoyed that it didn’t require me to read it all in a short period of time (so that I wouldn’t forget the plot).  Each chapter could stand on its own and that made every time I picked up the book feel like a totally new experience.  It’s thorough and interweaving historical accounts of chemistry provided me with a ton of valuable insight into how far chemistry has come since the beginning of modern science.  I don’t want to give away too much more though, so that my presentation isn’t totally ruined before I even start it!

Napoleons-Buttons

Book: Napoleon’s Buttons: 17 Molecules that Changed History

Authors: Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson

Big Idea: Science is tentative, messy, and unexpected.

In Napoleon’s Buttons: 17 Molecules That Changed History by Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson, a central idea of the Nature of Science, namely the fact that science is tentative and ever changing is pervasive. The book discusses seventeen molecules that, in the authors’ opinions, changed the path of history significantly with their identification and induction into society. As more molecules are discussed in the book, more overlaps between the molecules become evident. Ties between quinine and picric acid and aspirin, for example, are laced throughout all three of the chapters, which speak directly about those compounds. Furthermore, because many of these compounds were discovered, isolated, and synthesized within a similar range of dates their overlaps must go beyond even the scope of this book.

While there are many similarities between a large number of the compounds on which Napoleon’s Buttons focuses, the book pays special attention to the struggles and obstacles that scientists encountered while trying to isolate, determine the structure of, and stereo-selectively synthesize the molecules in question. This point is one that I think is significant for my future students, and would provide real-life Nature of Science into my future classroom. These struggles highlight the facts that science is messy, and indeed even some of the molecules spoken about in this book were discovered accidentally, while a researcher was looking for an entirely different compound, or even as a result of tiny differences in molecules’ structures.

In addition, significant time is spent in the book discussing how the development and use of some of these “miracle” compounds turned out to be “nightmare” compounds. For example, at the time of DDT’s (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) initial use for eradicating malaria and slowing the spread of typhus it seemed to be a positive, life changing molecule; but, DDT ended up having serious environmental impacts despite its efficiency at doing its main job and whose use has since been significantly reduced.

Overall, Napoleon’s Buttons speaks directly to the Nature of Science in a multitude of ways including its messiness and tentative natures. By reading even only individual chapters of this book my future students would get valuable insight into how sloppy, unexpected, and uncertain science can be. The connections between chapters, and thus reading the entire book, would provide students with an insiders’ look into science research and discovery; which would really uncover the collaborative and mysterious underpinnings of the development of our society, through the lens of science. In my own classroom, I could use this book in segments or as a whole, for the end results I stated prior, but could focus on the connections between seemingly unique compounds. Given the time to do so, a concept map of significant words in Napoleon’s Buttons would be cognitively challenging and profound for students to create, either for individual chapters or for the book as a whole, for which students could be responsible for individual chapters. For this task, the words in the concept map would go beyond just the compound names, by also include locations, dates, routes to discovery, origins, and so on. Through this exercise the interconnectedness of all corners of our current society could be made visible for learners.

This book is one that I would recommend to science geeks, learners, and all people in between in addition to anyone with an interest in history and the progression of modern advancements. In all, Napoleon’s Buttons is a book that can be enjoyed in single chapter segments or as a whole, but either way gives an insightful and descriptive account on seventeen history-changing molecules, many of which are very unexpected choices.

 

References

Le Couteur, P., Burreson, J. (2003). Napoleon’s buttons: 17 molecules that changed history. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Grappling with the Nature of Science

Jo Ann recently sent around the NSTA Position Statement on the Nature of Science and I wanted to talk about one of the pieces of it more specifically and the challenges that, I would imagine, come along with teaching students that portion of the statement. The statement is below:

 

A primary goal of science is the formation of theories and laws, which are terms with very specific meanings.

  1. Laws are generalizations or universal relationships related to the way that some aspect of the natural world behaves under certain conditions.
  2. Theories are inferred explanations of some aspect of the natural world. Theories do not become laws even with additional evidence; they explain laws. However, not all scientific laws have accompanying explanatory theories.
  3. Well-established laws and theories must be internally consistent and compatible with the best available evidence; be successfully tested against a wide range of applicable phenomena and evidence; possess appropriately broad and demonstrable effectiveness in further research.

 

Now, I realize that this fact of science isn’t new news to any of us, having studied science for 10+ years (if you count from 7th grade on). But I would assume that this is a really difficult idea for most young science learners to wrap their heads around, especially the first few times they come across this.

Obviously my instincts want me to talk from a Chemistry perspective so some topics where this idea would come through include might be within atomic theory specifically with the evolution of the atomic model and within ideal gas laws. I think there would be more opportunities for this piece of the nature of science to be taught in other content areas like within evolution or many of the major physics units but my main struggle with teaching this concept centers around when learners grapple with the concept the first few times they encounter it. This mostly is because this idea that theories explain laws but not all laws have theories is contrary to most other areas of school, and really life.

What experiences have you all had that directly covered theories and laws in class and how did you find students did working through the struggles of theories not ever becoming laws despite evidence that proves them true and how not all laws have partnering theories to explain them? I’m mostly interested in how students responded to this unique part of science and what helped them think through all of these idiosyncrasies of science.

 

Reference

NSTA. (2015). NSTA Position Statement: Nature of science. http://www.nsta.org/about/positions/natureofscience.aspx

The Nitty Gritty on my Poopsock Model

Last week, on my first day of student teaching at this placement I taught my students about the digestive system. I used Ceb’s idea from STARS and created a model of the digestive system, through which my students would teach themselves about each organ in your digestive system. This ended up fitting really well with my school’s philosophy of the students constructing their own knowledge and allowed me to do something really hands on for my first day.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any pictures because I was so preoccupied with all of my other demands but I do have all my materials that I used to share with you all.

Before we started the lesson I had students complete a bridge that asked them to chew an unsalted saltine cracker for three minutes while taking observations every 30 seconds. By this I was trying to start the discussion of digestion, specifically that digestion is both a chemical and a mechanical process.

From here my students were responsible for coming up for a class definition for the responsibility of the digestive system in our bodies and labeling all of the organs that make up the system. After this I introduced the levels of organization for the human body (cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, human body).

After the background knowledge was formed we moved into the digestive system model. During this piece of my lesson I would first describe the actual mechanics of the model; for example, ripping the bread or adding the vinegar, and then the students (in their table groups) would actually do that “organ” in the model. I expected that after they had physically completed that section of the model they would come up with what that organ did to the food that a person actually digests.

I did each organ individually, where each table group would perform the actions needed to model that organ, after which we would come together as a class to combine our explanations so everyone was on the same page. Breaking it up this way seemed to work really well because it gave the students time to investigate the model on their own but didn’t give them too much time to get lost or overwhelmed in the process. At the conclusion of the model we came up with definitions for chemical and mechanical digestion that each student was responsible for recording in his packet.

I’ve attached my 4.1 Digestive System Workshop packet and can email you my SmartNotebook pages if you want (the blog won’t let me upload them). Below is the materials and explanations to create the model for a single group. I had my students digest a single slice of white bread, which did (admittedly) make my room smell like Elmer’s glue by the end of the day for some reason but was simple and not as gross as it could have been.

 

Materials for each organ:

  • Mouth
    • Quart size ZipLock
    • Water
  • Esophagus
    • Balloon (animal balloon style)
    • Plastic beads
  • Stomach
    • Gallon size ZipLock
    • White Vinegar
    • Baking Soda
  • Small Intestine
    • Knee high stocking
  • Large Intestine
    • Mid-calf tube sock

 

If you have any questions I’ll answer them below or in person.