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Cauda Equina

by Greg Crowther


Context

This quick jingle (originally written for Biology 241 and 351 at UW-Bothell) connects two anatomy terms whose connection is not always evident to students. "Caudal" means "toward the tail"; the "cauda equina" is the "horse's tail" of nerve fibers immediately inferior to the spinal cord. Thus the root "caud" is part of both of these terms. The melody helps students pronounce "cauda equina," especially helping them stress the second syllable of "equina."


Lyrics

Cauda equina! The Latin words for "horse's tail."
Cauda equina! The spinal road becomes a trail!
Cauda equina! Tail is "caudal," without fail.
Cauda equina! Shake your tail! Shake your tail!


Other Files

MP3 (demo)

sheet music


Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using the audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity should begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.


Study Questions

(1) What might be meant by, "The spinal road becomes a trail"?

(2) What is the opposite of caudal?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)