Poop. Everything you ever wanted to know. And then some

Our current read aloud is a non-fiction title. On a kind of gross but okay, let’s admit it, kind of a lot of fun to talk about topic: Poop – A Natural History of the Unmentionable written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Neal Layton.

How can you not love this book? The cover shows a huge elephant behind with a pile of dung and a little scientist carefully examining the specimen. Open up the cover and notice that it is all brown and smeary coloured. “Eww! Is that real poo on there?” someone asked. (No, it’s artistic suggestion 🙂 )And then on the first page you get to learn that feces is the proper name of poop and that if we were speaking scientifically, we would know that all animals defecate (meaning to poo). So it seems that reading this book will make us into scientific experts on poop. Excellent!

Today we decided to use Adrienne Gear‘s Questions and Inferences sheet from Nonfiction Reading Power to record some of our questions and what we were inferring as we listened to the text.

The level of engagement was pretty high. Poop is an interesting topic! Near the end of the lesson, Jena commented, “Who knew poo could be so interesting?” Indeed.

We practiced asking some questions/inferring together when we looked at the first few pages titled – A Tour of Poop

We noticed that tapir poop seemed to have hair in it. Nobody knew what a tapir was so it seemed to be the perfect question to do some inferring.

Question:  Why does some poop have hair in it?

Our inferences:

Jenny: It must mean they are predators. The hair is from their prey.

Eddy: Maybe they have furry bums. When the poo comes out, it gets covered in their own fur.

Miami: I’m thinking that – perhaps, they licked their babies’ fur to clean them and stuff. So that’s how hair got into the poop.

Manny: Maybe it’s not hair. Maybe it is grass and they eat grass. Maybe it just looks like poop. If it is hair, why doesn’t the stomach acid eat the hair?

As we read on, we found out that meat eating animals (carnivores) have poop that contains hair, fur, feathers and bones. But I love all of the thinking we were doing to come up with different possibilities!

Most conversation and discussion was related to the text but as I read and we shared our thinking some students just couldn’t help sharing. A few hilarious statements I overheard: “I feel better when I poop.” “Do you think everyone pees a bit when they poop?” “Do you think we would explode if we never pooped?” “My Dad got diarrhea when he ate spicy pork.” Poop is a great topic of conversation! Maybe not to use at your next dinner party but when hanging out with primary students, it rates pretty high!

During our sharing someone asked this question: “Why do we fart?”

Kevin happily shared his thinking. “Maybe when your body has no more poop in it, there are still poo smells that need to get out so you need to fart.”

This was a very popular suggestion. One student responded. “Oh! Oh! Kevin may I write that down on my sheet?” “Yeah me too,” someone else said. We love to share our thinking! 🙂

Some other questions/inferences from our sheets:

Hajhare: Does poo have food in it? I think it does because the food all combines together to make it brown.

Edwin: Why is animal poo smaller? Maybe the animals don’t have big tummies like people.

Kevin: What happens if you poop a lot? I think you live longer.

The students can’t wait to learn more about poop! Stay tuned!

5 thoughts on “Poop. Everything you ever wanted to know. And then some

  1. Pingback: More on Poop | There's a Book for That

  2. Pingback: Nonfiction 10 for 10 List for 2013! | There's a Book for That

  3. Pingback: Celebrating students, celebrating books | There's a Book for That

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