October 26, 2008

Evidence That We Should Think Before We Speak

My students have been researching environmental issues this month in preparation for their persuasive letter writing (to politicians) and upcoming speeches. This past week, they created and presented Did You Know...? posters stating a fact related to their topics (in order to increase interest in these upcoming speeches). One poster said something (I can't recall the exact fact) about a chemical that causes lung cancer. Here's the discussion that followed:

Student 1: Isn't that chemical in cigarettes too?
Me: I'm not sure, but it wouldn't surprise me.
Student 2: There's tar in cigarettes!
Student 1: What do you mean?
Student 2: Like street tar.
Student 1: So they scrape the tar from the streets and put it in cigarettes?
Student 2: No, but it has the same chemicals.
Me: There are tons of chemicals in cigarettes. A lot of the chemicals in cleaning products are in cigarettes.
Student 1: What?! You can't breathe those in! They'll kill you!
(At this point, the whole class breaks out in laughter)
Me: Yes, J. And that's why it's bad to smoke! Because cigarettes DO kill people!

Ha! I love my job!

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