I always love the chance to work with elementary students. One particular group recently surprised me with both their knowledge and ignorance.
When they were in grade one, I dissected a bat with this group of kiddos. They were learning about sound and I had a frozen, dead bat so it seemed like a good idea. It indeed was a fantastic idea, and they were great little scientists. When we came to a bulge in the belly, I said we’d have to trace the digestive system to figure out just what it was. One of the girls looked at the swollen organ and looked at me in the eye, saying, “Miss Green, that is a baby. I’ve seen the same thing in a momma cow.” As I pulled apart the gut, sure enough, the bat wasn’t severely constipated but instead pregnant. The students looked at the similarities and differences between the mom and baby and were quite insightful.
This year they are in grade two, and during a casual conversation just before lunch, I realized some of them didn’t know about tortillas or really any other Mexican food. During a read aloud, I took the opportunity to read them Skippyjon Jones about a bean-stealing bee and the cat who thinks he is a chihuahua and saves the day. I also took the opportunity to introduce them to bean and cheese quesadillas. More than half of them in this picture had never had such deliciousness.
How is it that these kids know the difference between bat wombs and intestines and yet don’t know what a tortilla is? They are a unique and wonderful group of third culture kids!