Tonight Moomin showed me a bunch of YouTube videos with songs about DNA. His teacher had emailed last week to say that everyone in the class should be studying for a big test and should be able to explain what chromosomes, DNA, genes, traits, amino acids, proteins, nucleotides (sugar, phosphate, 4 bases), and codons are, and how they are related. Moomin drew me a diagram of all of their relationships and explained it very well to me!
Then we watched the DNA replication song, which some teenagers made at 4am to the tune of a song by the Backstreet Boys:
And the DNA song, which is very corny but also great:
It turns out there are a TON of silly videos and songs about DNA, mitosis, and all sorts of subjects, mostly made by students sometimes for school projects and sometimes just to make studying more amusing. I love it that Moomin’s teacher shows them this sort of thing in class, especially the videos made by other kids!
A while back Moomin had to write a 2000 word short story about organelles. I had a really good time reading it and editing it. It was probably the longest continuous work he’s ever tried to write, and so I helped by typing what he had, printing it out, and then editing it as I would anyone else’s manuscript, picking out places ripe for expansion and suggesting points where whole new scenes could be developed. I noticed that where my impulse would be to describe the scenery and create an emotional atmosphere with landscape, he invariably would create a scene by making characters actually do something and talk to each other to express their capabilities and personality. I wonder what we could have done with an organelle role playing game!
Two of his classmates came over the other night, saw the houseboat, had pizza, and they all discussed their debate topic for 2 hours straight. They have to argue the “pro” side for genetic screening for newborns. They thought of pro and con points, how to argue them, and planned who would do which parts of the debate. I only listened in a little bit but I was impressed with their ability to actually work together.
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