by Greg Crowther
This is a little rap about the pituitary gland, focusing on the tropic actions of this gland. It was originally written for Biology 242 and 351 at UW-Bothell.
Called "pituitary" by most of us.
It's the master gland
With the master plan,
Telling other glands
To secrete what they can!
ACTH goes to the adrenal;
TSH goes out to the thyroid,
FSH and LH go to the ovaries --
Or to the testes right between your thighs, boy!
• MP3 (live)
• sheet music
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 an audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, and/or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity could begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.
(1) Why, anatomically speaking, is "hypohypothalamus" a reasonable nickname for the pituitary gland?
(2) Does the "master gland" designation apply to the anterior pituitary (adenohypophysis) or the posterior pituitary (neurohypophysis) or both?
(3) What hormones to the adrenal gland, thyroid gland, and gonads secrete in response to the hormones they receive from the pituitary?
(4) Beyond the hormones mentioned in this rap, what additional hormones are also secreted by the pituitary?
(Answers may be found on the answers page.)