Let me see your thingaling

As anticipated, my friend K came to school yesterday and guest lectured in my class.  It went wonderfully!  She talked about the lab in the book and how it compared to her lab (with pictures.  Yay, K!) and she also started a dialogue with the students over whether it is possible to make animals smarter as they do in the book.

We were about to watch a video about cuttlefish and how they can be taught using conditional learning (if there’s seaweed in the maze, they go out a solid colored door.  If there’s a brick, they go out a striped door).  To introduce them to one class, K was talking about how amazing these animals are, how they are masters of camouflage and how even in the wild they show high intelligence.  She went on to talk about how during mating season, some small males disguise themselves as females by making their tentacles appear shorter so they can avoid fighting the bigger males to mate with the females.

The class ended without the kids getting a chance to ask their questions so today, I started class off by fielding questions from the group.  One student (who is just overall a very awkward, but very sweet boy) raised his hand and looked incredibly perplexed.  I called on him and he said “You know how Mrs. K was talking about “cross-dressing” fish yesterday?”

“You mean cuttlefish?  Yes.”

“Well, I was thinking about it and I was wondering, how do they hide their thingalings when they sneak in to the lady fishies?”

(class erupts in laughter and chatter, he turns bright purple)

“I mean, wouldn’t the other guys know what that looks like?”

So, it was not entirely without incident but I think I responded fairly well.

“I’m sorry, did you notice any “thingalings” when we were watching the video?  And when was the last time you looked in a fish tank and saw a bunch of “thingalings?”  For more answers you’ll have to research it yourself.  Moving on.”

“So they don’t have them?”


Oh, 6th graders.

Update: He came in today and proclaimed “Don’t worry, Mrs. Cookie!  I promise not to mention jahooliewoozies AT ALL today!”  Where does he find these terms?

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    K said,

    Awesome! I’m so glad I inspired 6th graders to think about fish’s “junk”. : ) Thanks for having me in the class yesterday.

  2. 2

    Girly-Q said,

    Wow. I would have laughed with the rest of the kids. Cross-dressing fish. Seriously, since when do fish dress themselves at all!

  3. 3

    PBB said,

    I greatly apologize for my absence from this blog. Consider yourself added to my RSS feed and cyber-stalked (although I did have to scroll past the gross foot pic.)!

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