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Medulla's in the Middle

by Greg Crowther


This jingle, written for Biology 241-242 and 351-352 at UW-Bothell, clarifies two fundamental, widespread anatomical terms: cortex (the outside) and medulla (the inside).


Medulla's in the middle;
The cortex wraps around the core!
Medulla's in the middle
Of kidney, brain and bone, and more!
Medulla's in the middle;
The cortex wraps around the core!

Other Files

MP3 (demo)

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) What is the "full name" of the medulla in the brain?

(2) Can you think of any other structures (besides those listed in the song) that have a cortex and a medulla?

(3) How does this jingle's melody reinforce its meaning?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)