Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloweeeeeeeeeeeen Returns

Why did the bacteria cross the playground?

To get to the other slide.

I haven't been into Halloween for years. But when you're teaching 1st Grade, it's like a national holiday. It's almost as big (for some it's bigger) than Christmas or even summer vacation. It's the dressing up, it's the pretending to be someone/thing else. All kids, and some adults, like to dress up. Doing it in public: Even Better!

Last year, our class was studying Caterpillars & Butterflies. Miss P and I talked about it for a long time and finally came up with: Me, Caterpillar and Miss P, Lepidopterist. It was a real kick and the kids are still talking about it. So, this year, we're studying 'health' in a pretty huge-umbrella sort of way. Specifically, we've been studying bacteria and germs and this past week we grew a whole bunch of bacteria in a petri dish. If goobery things made me queasy before, this experiment made me never want to touch the pencil sharpener again.

So, after much talk and 'yes' to this idea and then 'maybe' and then 'no' to that idea... we finally came up with a solution: Me, germ on a microscope slide and Miss P, a microscope. Genius. Or, so we think so far... it'll be interesting to see how it all fares out on the big day.

First, I drew it out:
My intention was to be a big, huge, round, green germ, a cocci to be precise. But, when I showed it to Miss P, she reminded me if I wanted the little hairs (pili: cilia that enable pathogenic bacteria to attach to the body and cause disease) and a rudder/tail (flagellum: a structure used for locomotion), I couldn't be a cocci. I had no intention of trying to figure out how to be a spirilla (a twisting costume?! come on!), so I went with bascilli. That way I could sew little hairs on AND have some long yarn coming down the back of me.
I got myself some used green clothing and started cutting yarn and cutting holes, tying the little hairs in place. The flagellum leaves a bit to be desired...but, since I'll have a long "glass" microscope slide attached to my back, it's all I could do.
With a little bit of here and there, some cardboard, tinfoil and saran wrap a microscope slide was built!
Tomorrow I'll figure out how to actually attach it to me for the Halloween Parade around school grounds. For now, I'm just happy I've got a wacky costume all lined up.

A great bumper sticker:

"Support bacteria; it is the only culture we have left."


Anonymous said...

Molly....Get on the Skype camera so we can see you...Mom and Dad

Ellen Zachos said...

Definitely need a photo of you in costume!

hol said...

Oh My Stars! If you don't print that bumper sticker, I will, and give you the proceeds! 5 STARS! A good card as well.... OX, Hol

hol said...

Oops, the bumper sticker is in quotes, dang, lost another good idea....