Wednesday, March 9, 2011
This Book is Really Gross!
If the subtitle of this book won’t grab your students’ attention, then the blurb from the back of the book will: “Featuring facts about stuff that’s slimy, mushy, oozy, crusty, scaly, and smelly!”
Open the book and you’ll find scientific, historic, and gross facts about everybody’s secretions, smells, and scabs. Barf, burps, dandruff, farts, and poop. If it’s gross and relates to your body, it’s in the book. The highly descriptive prose is a great example of what Maupin House author, Melissa Forney, calls “Razzle Dazzle Writing.”
Consider this description of skin. “A huge number of living creatures survive on your skin... These creatures, called bacteria, sway, roll, bounce, swim, eat and reproduce on your skin. They are so small that a dozen could line up across one pore. On your legs about 8,000 bacteria live in each square inch….Under the grease layer on your forehead are about 8,000,0000 critters for each square inch. That’s a larger population of bacteria in one square inch under your forehead than the entire number of people in Kentucky and Tennessee combined!”
After a detailed description of how zits are formed, the reader discovers, “All form of acne start out the same way. Dead skin cells shed inside pores. The dead skin cells then clump together with sebum, bacteria, and bacterial waste in the pore and form a comedo. The word “comedo” actually means “fat maggot” in Latin, because early doctors thought that these bumps were really maggots under the skin…” Gross. (p. 39-41).
This book is a great resource for both science and language arts classrooms. Yesterday, I read snippets of it to students in grades 3-8. A second grader couldn't wait to get his hands on it.
Science written in a highly engaging manner. I love it!
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