Tuesday, March 7, 2017

07/31: A Literal Slice of Life #sol17

Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers blog for hosting the #sol17 writing challenge!
Today was our annual 7th grade science trip to dissect a pig heart at Saint Louis University. I decided to capture this rather literal slice of life with a series of lists.

Five Things Overheard in the Dissection Room:
  1. While dangling a piece of the right atrium in his hand: "This kind of looks like a mushroom." 
  2. "Time for my Grey's Anatomy moment."
  3. "I don't think my pig ate a healthy diet."
  4. "Can you take my picture while I pose with the pig heart?"
  5. "Ew, I think my pig heart just juiced on me."
Four Smells Permeating the Dissection Room:
  1. Formaldehyde 
  2. The powdery substance that coats the inside of surgical gloves
  3. Axe body spray
  4. Neosporin that was used on the one (only one!) cut sustained during the experience
Three Tools Handled Directly by 86 7th Grade Students:
  1. Forceps
  2. Scissors
  3. A super, super sharp scalpel
Two Facial Expressions Seen on Students' Faces:
  1. The look of utter disgust: curled upper lip, wrinkled nose, furrowed brow. 
  2. The look of utter awe: mouth in a perfect O, eyebrows raised in wonder. 
One Haiku to Sum Up Today:

Field trips: chaotic.
Students with sharp tools: scary.
Learning: so worth it. 


  1. The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 list is genius formatting. It makes me super excited for our field trip! The haiku was also an unexpected gift at the end. I'm happy everyone survived with only one (hopefully small) cut!

  2. Love your haiku to wrap it up at the end! You are a brave woman to go on such a field trip.

  3. I really appreciate the 5,4,3,2,1 format and how it helps to focus on those details that make writing come alive. Even just noticing is enlivening. You've inspired me to try your format tomorrow. I'd love to know: have you tried this with your students? Do you have other formats like this that you find effective? Thanks also for the details that ring me straight back to teaching middle school--where else might we smell formaldehyde and Axe at the same time? Insightful.

  4. This is such a terrific post! Very, very clever! I love the five things overheard! I am a literacy coach who does middle school lunch duty and I always say I am going to take a notebook to write down all the things they ask me.

  5. I liked the format...and always the words from students!
    We couldn't make that up if we tried! LOL