Biology Below The Gnat Line

Biy'allogy - (n) the scientific discipline otherwise known as biology, as taught below the Gnat Line. This blog is for educators who teach science in the deep south, where social and political conservatism reign supreme and "evolution" is a cuss word.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Critical Thinking Through Writing

I teach biology and microbiology but I make my students write essays. I'm so MEAN. I think writing is important. Deal with it.

I recently asked them to write an essay comparing an animal cell to an analogous structure. They tend to have fun with these, and I get to read all about how the cell is like a prison or grandma's house or an amoeba (note to students, an amoeba IS a cell). Some students get a bit carried away and build a cell to go with their essays. I highly encourage this, especially if it's edible.

I bring you the cell as JELL-O(R). CELL-O(R).

Go ahead! Eat it! It's tasty, I promise! That's a plum for a nucleus, some licorice for ER, Mike and Ikes(R) as mitochondria, cake sprinkles for ribosomes, and ribbon gum for the golgi apparatus. This is one of my best students, and she made this with her little brother. They got a bit too excited and put in the organelles before the gelatin was firm enough, and so they lost color and structure. I suspect this will simply encourage them to do it again.

Anybody need a fancy dessert for a party? Consider CELL-O(R), a fun and educational treat!

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