Monthly Archives: Aug 2015

Final lesson – respiratory system

Due to a last minute change in timetable, I was left with an extra week of teaching that I had not been expecting.

Having covered everything I could within the topic, including drawing our lovely large bodies and putting in all of our learning, the only thing I felt we had left to do was to actually look at hearts and lungs, so students didn’t think that they were just like the plastic ones we had been working with previously.

I was very fortunate that for both classes I had a teaching assistant who was more than up for the challenge, and so I procured four sets of hearts/lungs from our local butcher. One of them also had the tongue and voicebox still attached.

I’m not a biologist, and don’t recall any dissection training during my PGCE all those years ago. My aim is not to be perfect, but to give students an idea of what the insides of their bodies actually look like.

All of the students wore gloves, aprons and goggles, and we were fortunate to be able to split into smaller groups, with the TAs following my questioning and directions with their own groups. We first identified lung, heart and windpipe (trachea, rhymes with shakira! got to love special teaching). We felt the cartilage keeping the windpipe hard and discussed why that might be, comparing with the oesophagus running alongside. One set of lungs were successfully inflated.

All students then had a chance to feel the lungs and hold the heart. With support and care they all used a scalpel to cut into the lungs and feel how spongy they were, as well as looking for the bronchioles and alveoli. The heart had the same treatment, fingers into vena cava and aorta, identification of the chambers and a look for valves.

All of the students appeared to enjoy the lesson and time flew!


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#100WCGU #163 – missing

This week the 100 words prompt was ‘but it was there just a moment ago’


She reached back to grab her new jumper which she had left hanging off the chair. She couldn’t feel it. ‘Oh’, she thought, ‘it must have fallen off.’

Turning around she looked, first on the chair to double check, and then on the floor. It wasn’t there.

‘But it was there just a moment ago,’ she said out loud to no one in particular. ‘I know it was’.

Standing to continue the search, she glanced at the dog basket. There, curled up with his head on her new jumper was the dog, looking at her as if to say ‘who, me?’


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#100WCGU #164 – late

The prompt this week was ‘Noah looked worried’.


Noah looked worried. Sarah should have been home by now, and she hadn’t phoned to say that she was running late.

He hoped that she was just held up in traffic, but sometimes her bosses at the zoo could get a little carried away with expecting staff to cover overtime.

As he looked again, she arrived, soaked through.

‘The river topped the dam’, she explained as he held her tightly. We had to move all the animals to high ground to make sure they were safe. Pairing them up took the longest time, they just would not stand still to be counted!’


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Cross stitch trio completed

all done on train journeys. Not bad!


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#100WCGU Week #161

Catching up on challenges. The prompt for this was ‘…but it made my tongue tingle…’


It will be ok, they said. Everyone is doing it, they said.

Take the end of a battery, and place it on your tongue. It’s the only way to know if the battery still has a charge in it.

So I did. Like the trusting child that I was. But it made my tongue tingle. It was not a sensation that I particularly enjoyed, so then I cried. And they laughed. Because bigger kids always do. The little one is the target – how far can we push them, how silly will they be if we tell them it’s ok really?

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