Children learn about their choppers
October 3, 2005
VIRGINIA CITY -The discussion was about the four types of teeth – canine, incisors, molars and wisdom – when Daimen Cook raised his hand and asked a question.
“How old was Mrs. Glogovac when she got her wisdom teeth?”
The room fell silent. Who was this mysterious Mrs. Glogovac?
“You mean my mother?” asked a surprised Gigi Glogovac, who was presenting the program.
Such was the nature of curiosity displayed by second-graders in Margy Schieberl’s class in Virginia City as they asked eighth-graders from Connie Robertson’s Virginia City Middle School health class questions about teeth.
Topics included how cavities form; what the jaw does; the make-up of a tooth; types of “-vores:” herbivore, carnivore, omnivore; and how humans talk and sing.
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When asked if he had learned anything, Jacob Unruh, a second-grader who lost a front tooth recently, replied: “Way.”
“I knew some facts about teeth,” he said, “But I didn’t know teeth were stronger than bones. I knew that we have teeth like carnivores,” he continued. “But we’re also vegetable eaters. We’re a little of both.”
Teeth interest him, maybe because the one missing in the front has not been replaced by an adult tooth.
“It’s been out about a month now,” he said. “It just doesn’t want to come in. I’m patient. I can wait.”
Monday’s presentation started weeks ago during a segment on bones, muscles and skin in Robertson’s health class. Her students started debating whether teeth were made of the same material as bones, so she gave them in-depth topics to research more.
“We’ve learned a lot of things,” said Stevie Fisher, a student of Robertson’s. “That teeth are harder than bones and what foods to eat to help your teeth.”
Specific topics of research evolved into colorful posters and eventually Monday’s presentation.
“I think (the second-graders) are learning because they’re all paying attention and being involved,” said Fisher.
Whether it was asking a tough question, being quiet and listening, or touching their own teeth, hardly a second-grader appeared inattentive.
Sydney McDowell paid special attention. She is the younger sister of eighth-grader Sean McDowell.
“Now I know when my sister comes home and says she doesn’t know what she did in school today, I can correct her,” Sean said.
The presentation to the second-graders was cross-curriculum, according to Richardson, which means it not only covered required health topics, but also met required speaking and writing skills.
“I am so excited about this group of (eighth-grade) kids,” Robertson said. “I’m really impressed with them.”
n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at email@example.com or 881-1219.
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