Students were partnered up all over the room, heads bent together, reading and discussing Secrets of the Stomach. Some sat at adjacent desks, others sprawled on the floor or lay on their stomachs, knees bent, feet in the air. The room buzzed with reading, laughter and conversation. It was the first day back from break, but the kids were working hard, reading about how a trio of scientists investigated and learned how the stomach digests food. The reading involved vomiting hawks, open, unhealing wounds to the stomach and a pretty high “ick” factor: In other words, they were fully engaged.
I circulated, checking in with students as they read together and completed some written follow up. I stopped by one partnership as a student was reading aloud some information about how the stomach uses acids to digest food. He stopped reading suddenly and looked up at me with a puzzled expression on his face. Then he asked earnestly, “Mrs. Hogan, if the stomach is where your food is digested, how do women make their babies?” Oh, dear.
“Not in their stomach,” I replied quickly, torn between laughter and dread.
“Whoa!” he exclaimed, “Now I’m starting to get really interested in how babies are made.” Uh oh.
“Ummmm…” I stammered, “Well…” Hmmmmm…where do I go with this?
I’m not sure what my face looked like, but thankfully, he quickly interrupted, “But that’s not the point now.” He resumed reading with his partner, and I walked away quickly.
Thank goodness for a one-track mind and compelling reading material!