It's All Connective!
by Greg Crowther
Most sources consider there to be four main types of tissues in human anatomy: connective tissue, epithelial tissue, muscular tissue, and nervous tissue. Among these, connective tissue is surely the most diverse. This jingle, which celebrates connective tissue as a "catch-all" category, was originally written for Biology 241 at UW-Bothell.
1, 2, what ya gotta do is...
Scrape off the epithelial;
Shed that surface-cell perspective.
Throw out the nerves and muscles.
What's left? It's all connective!
Bones and blood and lymph and tendons
And reticular: all connective!
Mesenchyme, cartilage, ligaments, adipose,
Areolar: all connective!
• MP3 (demo)
• sheet music (with melody play-back)
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.
(1) What are the four main tissue types?
(2) What is mesenchyme?
(3) Which of the four tissue types is invoked by the phrase "shed that surface-cell perspective"? How do you know?
(4) The many examples of connective tissue listed in the song can be grouped into subcategories like the following: connective tissue proper, fluid connective tissue, and supporting connective tissue. Which examples go in which subcategories?
(Answers may be found on the answers page.)