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Form Follows Function

by Greg Crowther


Form follows function, yeah,
For structures fine to gross!
Form follows function, yeah;
Selection keeps them close!

It's true at the level of a protein:
Myosin heads for force generation!
It's true at the level of a cell:
Mitochondria for food degradation!
It's true at the level of a tissue:
Intercalated discs for signal propagation!
It's true at the level of an organ:
Chambers of the heart for blood circulation!


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 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.

Study Questions

(1) Explain the meaning of "form follows function" in your own words.

(2) Extend the structure-function relationships to the level of an organ system -- the circulatory system. In what ways does the structure of this system as a whole support its functions?

(3) Choose a different organ (besides the heart) and write a rapped verse that concisely notes how structure supports function at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole-organ levels.

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)