I love TQTs!





Nephrons Like Neurons

by Greg Crowther


This was written as a semi-educational end-of-term song for my Everett Community College students. In it, I acknowledge that some but not all of what we've covered will be useful to them in the future, and that it's up to them to sort through it all and "save all the good stuff; throw out the rest."


Flooded with info all of the time,
You've got to filter what goes in your mind!
Valuable nuggets are slipping away;
Just reabsorb them to get them to stay!

Use your neurons like nephrons to be a success:
Save all the good stuff; throw out the rest!
Your brain needs to do what your kidneys do best:
Save all the good stuff; throw out the rest!

Some facts are glucose you must retain;
And some urea to wash down the drain!
Some are like protons or H-C-O-3's:
Just how you treat them depends on your needs!


Other Files

MP3 (demo, with Two of a Kind)

sheet music (with melody play-back)

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 an audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, and/or (B) illustrating it with pictures, bodily poses, and/or bodily movements. 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.

Study Questions

(1) It can be said that neurons are to the brain what nephrons are to the kidneys. In what ways is this a good analogy? In what ways is it a poor analogy?

(2) What is another name for HCO3? Does it have a net charge?

(3) Explain how a nephron's treatment of protons and HCO3 "depends on your needs."

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)