Middle Ages and Science, incubating eggs

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Hello! I am a middle school science teacher(6th grade) at a small private school in Idaho. Our sixth grade team does quite a bit of integrating curriculum/team teaching. My last unit of the year is biology-this should be integrated with the Middle Ages. Any suggestions or resources? I thought of studying microbiology (cells, virus, diseases). Any suggestions on the other parts of living things (plants, fungus, animals..)

Also, I was thinking the kids might really enjoy incubating and hatching quail, ducks, chickens, or pheasants. In the process, we could study bodily systems and development. Do you have any suggestions or info. about incubating eggs?

I am on Spring Break, but will check my email at home.

Thanks for your time!

Nancy Parsons-Brown

-- Nancy Parsons-Brown (nparsons@communityschool.org), April 05, 2001

Answers

I'm no student of medical history but I believe the following is fairly accurate:

The microscope wasn't invented until the 16/17th century, and cell theory came about in the 19th century along with the idea of viral and bacterial causes for certain diseases. Of course you could cover these topics (basic microscopy, disease, basic cell theory) in science and compare with the medieval view of disease and medical/scientific technology. I'm not sure, however, how to make this work on a 6th grade level. You might also look at cell theory compared with "spontaneous generation" and work in the whole idea of "scientific methods" and controlled experiments (17th century?). Make sure the students have an opportunity to conduct their own controlled experiments related to what they are studying. I would think that focusing on those areas would be more than adequate to finish out the school year.

As for hatching eggs, I canít speak for Idaho, but a teacher in our district (New York City, of all places) found a nearby farmer who rented an incubator and gave her some fertilized eggs to hatch. Afterward the farmer would take back all the successful chicks (not many if I recall!). I think it was $25.00 for the set-up. Something to look into. Now how to fit that into the Middle Ages?

-- Michael Gatton (mg143@aol.com), April 05, 2001.


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