Less Gas In Class – Engaging Readers with Gross Topics

It all starts with the BFG. Now I’m going to admit something somewhat controversial and hope that you might understand. I didn’t really like Roald Dahl before this book.….(run and cowering)……

Is that horrible? I know he is a fantastic author just one I never connected with as a reader and never then passed on to my class. I fully realize that no one connects with the same books so I need to up my exposure and push myself as well to open up the readers in my room.

If you don’t happen to be reading the BFG, my kids loved these weird but true books – this one even has smelly facts!

Well if you have read or (cringing) watched the movie – you know what happens when giants drink Frobscottle ….ahem…..gas. There were parts that had my whole class in tears of laughter and were almost a little tough to get through reading as I was laughing so hard. I knew I had to capitalize on this literary experience we were having together so I planned our ELA all around – yep you guessed it – GAS!

The kids walked in a fake email from the CIA – I asked if they accepted their mission and of course YES! I said they then had to use a fingerprint scanner app to have their prints scanned and on file for the CIA. It was a free app (that literally didn’t do anything) and they loved the special touch.

We read about the science behind what was happening. The students really did take it pretty seriously.

  • What Makes Us Fart – link
  • Why does Soda Fizz – link
  • What Makes Us Burp – link

We did a Google Forms Assessment I created after reading to check understanding and quickly went over the tricky questions together. I LOVE quality literature and exposing my students. The combination and comparison of nonfiction and fiction really shown through this lesson. My QR listening centers help us prep for the level of rigor expected each day as one of our reading rotations!

The mission from the CIA was to create a healthy lunch menu so we broke into groups and created a weekly lunch menu that promoted less gas. We did discuss briefly what needed to be components of a school lunch to follow health parameters.

To complete their mission they had to write official letters (writing, parts of a letter) back to the CIA with their specific menu and reasoning for choices based on what they read – talk about deep meaning of a text and APPLYING it to a real world (albeit funny) situation. What was funny at first, really took a serious turn as they worked hard to create menus that would reduce gas. Although, there was not critical scientific backing – the nonfiction reading, our class read aloud and science were all combined to make one UNFORGETTABLE Morning!

If you love EASY room transformations make sure to check these out!


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