Sewer Lice– A Descriptive Discovery
As a language arts teacher, I often ask myself, “How can I make my lessons more ‘hands on?'” This year, I was able to answer that question thanks to the Internet.
A couple of years ago, we hosted an exchange student from Spain, Rodrigo. Despite the thousands of miles and a very large ocean that separates North Platte, Nebraska and Valladolid, Spain, we were able get to know not only Rodrigo, but his entire family via video calls on MSN Messenger. While Rodrigo no longer lives with us, we continue to talk with him and his family. Adrian is his older brother studying science at the nearby university.
A couple of weeks ago, Adrian told me about a scientific discovery his class was involved with and asked if I would like to share it with my classes. I said, “Of course!” This past weekend, I received a package of sewer lice in their natural golden liquid. That’s right… Sewer. Lice.
Adrian explained to me that his class was studying the environment at a nearby Roman aqueducts when they discovered a new insect species living in the sewer water still running through the ancient water canals. The lice are similar to human lice except 100 times larger. Unlike human lice, they have evolved into a non-parasitic species. These sewer lice digest sewer water. Their tiny legs help them swim to the surface to take an air bubble before they drop back down into the water. Adrian said the discovery is significant because as they eat the polluted water, they purify it. They have also been found to be an easily digested source of protein. He said his university is considering introducing them into third-world countries to fight hunger and provide clean water.
What an amazing story! I could not give these amazing creatures to the science department. Selfishly, I kept them and treated my sixth-grade students to this scientific gift. We decided to practice descriptive writing by analyzing these incredible insectos.
In order to truly describe the sewer lice, we identified adjectives to explain how they look, smell, sound, feel… and that’s right, TASTE!!
How would you describe sewer lice? Answer in the comments below…