Webster #4

I was back at Webster last Wednesday, and it was great to see the staff and students again. Here is what I covered:

4th Grade: No Way Out

With all the rain the last few weeks, I thought it was a good time to talk to the kids about being safe when they decide to go outdoors. Hopefully, all of the kids like to do things outdoors, but its important that they don’t put themselves in risky situations needlessly. We started class by talking about the importance of things like wearing the proper equipment when riding a bike and following the lifeguards directions when you are at the beach.

After that, we watched a PSA about the flood control channels in LA County. “No Way Out” is the only video I show in the 4th grade and it’s (by far) the oldest video I have (in order to do it justice I should play it on an old reel to reel projector). However, like a pine tree the message of the video is evergreen, and it always leaves an impression on the 4th graders that see it.

The video was produced in the 90’s in a joint effort by many LA County and City agencies to bring safety awareness regarding the concrete flood channels in the southland. These cement rivers are not meant for recreation, and although it (almost) never rains in Southern California, flooding is a very real issue when it does.

The video has lots of exciting footage of water rescues, and it finishes with a very sad story about a local boy (Adam Bischoff of Woodland Hills) that drowned in the channels. I show the video not just to show the dangers of the storm channels, but also to emphasize the importance of not taking unnecessary risks when it comes to all of the recreational activities the kids participate in.

5th Grade: The Team Game

My class with the 5th grade was about tobacco. Five students from the class performed a skit called “The Team Game” which stated numerous facts about the hazards of smoking or chewing tobacco. Highlights included:

  • identifying chewing tobacco (spit and dip), cigarettes and cigars
  • the long term and short term effects of chewing tobacco  (tooth and gum problems, mouth cancer, addiction, etc)
  • the long term and short term effects of smoking (emphysema, lung cancer, stained teeth and fingernails, smoke stench, addiction, etc).
  • legal age and increased risk of smoking or chewing as a youth

I finished the lecture with a few visual aids of the effects of smoking on lungs. First, there is the bottle of tar that shows the amount of gunk that will pass through an every day smoker’s lungs over the course of a year.IMG_2486Then I have a board with plaster models of lungs before and after smoking depicting lung cancer and emphysema.IMG_2485I also have a display of preserved lung tissue showing a healthy lung along side an emphysematous lung of a 20-year smoker.  IMG_3743

Needless to say, the kids were very clear by the end of class that tobacco products are legal to use for an adult, but are not a healthy choice in any way, shape or form.

I missed seeing Mrs. Verham in class, but it was nice catching up with Mrs. London and hearing how excited she is to see the Pats in the Super Bowl again (so good luck to her and all her chowder-head friends).

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