stiff

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

 

common coreCommon Core Standards

Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects

1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.

2. Determine the central ideas of conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.

3. Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context

C - cite
S - summarize
I - infer

Writing Standards for Literacy

1. Write Arguments focused on discipline-specific content

Alternative Assignment

- Post-It Stiff by Mary Roach; in this assignment students have a less formal method of reading where they use post it notes to highlight various ideas and insights as they read.

Final Essay and Assessment

 

“Stiff”   by Mary Roach

 Introduction

a.  Explain what the author meant when she said she saw “her mother’s cadaver”.

Chapter 1 -- A Head Is a Terrible Thing to Waste…………..Due _________         

a.  Why is it important that the doctors (and students) learn to objectify the bodies?
b.  What is the malar fat pad and why might plastic surgeons focus on this area?
c.  How has surgery changed since the 17th century?

Chapter 2 – Crimes of Anatomy ……………………………..Due _________           

a.  How do medical schools encourage respect for the dead?  (or do they?)
b.  How were cadavers acquired before the modern day “donation” method?
c.  What was Robert Knox’s fatal PR blunder?
d.  What options did early surgeons have to learn anatomy when government does not sanction human dissection?

Chapter 3  - Life After Death ……………………………..Due _________         

a. What is autolysis?
b.  Why do bodies bloat?  (And do dead people really fart?)
c.  How are the dead prepared for burial?
d.  What is the scientific purpose for understanding how bodies decay?

Chapter 4 – Dead Man Driving ……………………………..Due _________         

a.  Why are cadavers used to test vehicle crashes?
b.   Why are side impacts particularly dangerous?
c.  Why are “pieces” of cadavers sometimes used instead of the whole cadaver?

Chapter 5 -  Beyond the Black Box ……………………………..Due _________         

a.  What kind of information is included in the Aerospace Pathology book?
b.  How is that information useful to investigators?
c.  What happens to a body when it hits water after falling from an extreme height?
d.  Why do airlines not install features that would make flying safer?

Chapter 6 -  The Cadaver Who Joined the Army …………..Due _________         

a.   Why are large caliber bullets preferred over smaller ones?
b.   Why do people (and some animals) fall to the ground after being shot? 
c.   Why are frangible bullets so devastating to the human body?
d.   What scientific value does bullet research on cadavers have?

Chapter 7 – Holy Cadaver ……………………………..Due _________         

a.  What experiments were performed to determine the physiological effects of crucifixion?

Chapter 8 – How to Know If You’re Dead …………………..Due _________         

a.  What is a beating-heart cadaver?
b.  Why were “waiting mortuaries” necessary?
c.  Why is the heart given so much credit for being the seat of life (or the soul)?
d.  What is the modern definition of death?
e.  Why did the author call the cadaver a dead hero?

Chapter 9 – Just a Head ………Due ____         

a.  What experiments were performed to determine if a severed head still retained consciousness?
b.  What scientific value do these experiments have?

Chapter 10 – Eat Me …………..Due _________         

a.  Before the scientific method was used, what information did doctors use to prescribe remedies for various illnesses?
b.  Describe one of these dubious remedies and explain why it might have actually worked.
c.  What are some reasons that cannibalism exists?

Chapter 11 – Out of the Fire and Into the Compost Bin  .................Due _______      

a.  What is tissue digestion and how is it accomplished?
b.  What are the potential benefits of composting the dead?
c.  Where does the water inside a human (or cadaver) come from?  Where does it go?

Chapter 12 – Remains of the Author....................Due  _______

a.  How are human skeletons prepared (from real bodies)?
b.  What is plastination?

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