Creative Writing Suggestions to Enhance Study of A&P

Creative Writing suggestions:

Helping students to see the stories involved in A&P can increase interest.

Have your students try the following ideas:

· Write an advertisement for a body part / physiological pathway or process: film or present it live.

· Write a limerick about parts or function.

· Present a disease process from the point of view of a journalist reporting on a war.

· Write a play about a physiological function or occurrence in which the characters are anatomical parts experiencing physiology & discussing physiology.  It could be performed in class with costumes – or filmed and posted on BlackBoard.  (The song “The Ballad of Cap & Corona” On “Groovin’ in the Hippocampus” is a song about fertilization that utilizes this concept from the 3rd person.  The egg and sperm are anthropomorphized and followed on their paths toward formation of a zygote.)

The following idea is adapted from a primary education teacher.  It may be stretching to think an elementary teacher’s ideas could be relevant to your students or your teaching, however, primary educators have a rough row to hoe as their students have NO choice about being there, so they often come up with really creative ways to engage their students.  This elementary school teacher is improving his students writing by having them describe what they see as the class moves through a video game on an interactive white board.  The quality of the response is amazing.  They’ve all seen movies and heard narration, so the combo of visual and the license to be creative gets amazing results.  Could this really be valuable in A&P?  Would it be valuable for your students to really think deeply enough about A&P to use adjectives?!!!!  So how can you use this in A&P?….

One way to do this (and use technology) is to challenge students to become a cell or organ or tissue and describe what is going on around them, or to them, as they watch a physiological animation.  I found some physiological animations you can try – links are below.  Turn the sound down on those that have narration and play them in class asking people to identify what is going on and to describe what they see.  You might run through it once to make sure everyone understands what they are watching and then ask them to write down what they see as if they are a participant whose life depends on recognizing what is going on around them.  You can stop it and point things out and ask questions, or assign different people to different cells/tissues, etc.  Let them become engaged in the story and the drama through watching and describing.  You could show them in class and discuss, or assign students to watch an animation and write a narrative from the perspective of a body part.  Students could also, or instead, write dialogue for interactions.  Give extra points for actually using physiological terminology, but also recognize the value of a student understanding what he or she is seeing because they are thinking about it and they are interested.

Here are some videos to check out:

Natural Killer Cells animation (like an action flick!!!)

This one about antibody response has music but no talking – perfect!

Inflammatory response with great sound effects:

This is an awesome animation of plaque buildup leading to MI.  Unfortunately it has SAMPLE across the screen, but everything is still very visible.  Not sure you can use this, but it is on youtube…

Have fun and get in on the action yourself to set an example.


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