Tuesday, July 6, 2010
We hung out in the rarely used Science Lab today at school. My sixth graders are beginning a unit on animals and the curriculum calls for chopping up a fish and observing its internal organs. I was glad it was fish actually.I just can't imagine how these kids would react to gassing a bunch of frogs then pinning them to a board and butchering them!The boys really enjoyed the blood and guts and green oozy stuff. A few of the girls were disgusted, one girl had to go to the bathroom a couple times to keep from throwing up. One girl had very resentful eyes during the whole class an took no part in the butchery, playing with intestines, popping out eyes and smelling gills. She didn't talk to me or even look at me the rest of the day.The kids enjoyed the time away from the books and worksheets, but I was stressed, having given them each a knife and not knowing who would be the first to sever a finger or jab an eye.I asked for scalpel type knives for dissecting the fish, you know, to feel a little more scientific rather than like we just got in from fishing and were cleaning and gutting our catch. We got big kitchen knives. They worked fine, none of the kids complained.I asked our logistics person at school where my fish were about a half hour before school started. She pointed me towards a giant freezer...I grabbed a bag fish, frozen solid over night. It was like a giant fish-cicle. I ran them under water for a while and eventually separated them. They were perfectly thawed by second period and ready to experiment on.The kids, although they had fun, insist that they will not eat fish for a long time, many still smelling their hands at the end of the school day! The stink stays for a long time!