9/11, Irma and dog brains (Sept. 12 update)

You’ve hopefully seen my list from this afternoon of stories suggested by two of my sixth-grade students. I must say, I loved it.  And we had a terrific news meeting thanks to their input.

First off, of course we told the story of Ernest Hemingway’s 54 six-toed cats surviving Irma.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/11/us/hemingway-cats-irma.html

You can’t really go wrong in a story where someone suggests that a feline caretaker, in the face of a massive hurricane, “Get in the car with the cats and take off!”  I did mention that we’re talking about 54 cats? Great visual image there.

However, our discussion did then have to take a more serious turn. We didn’t have the opportunity yesterday to fully talk about 9/11.  I want to write a longer post about this soon, because just a few years ago, it seemed that I had to tread lightly around 9/11 discussions because it was so intense for the students.  But more recently, it’s almost been the opposite — these younger students know SO little about the terrorist attacks and their impact that it feels like it’s time to be more detailed, to bring it more to life.  That was a difficult discussion, and one I hope to share soon.  But for now, to keep this light, I want to tell you that I’d have hated to have left the students with those stories.  Enter dog brains!

I can’t say enough great things about this article  A beloved dog, a scientist wondering if the dearly-departed dog truly loved him or just the food, helicopters and Navy SEALS, a basement MRI simulator,  the famous marshmallow experiment, neuroscience, epileptic sea lions  — seriously, you have to just read it for yourself.  The other bit of great news: this eloquent and charming scientist has written a book, “What It’s Like to be a Dog.”  We are totally buying that!




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