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Strata of the Epidermis

by Greg Crowther


Context

This jingle lists the 5 layers of the epidermis of the skin, from innermost to outermost: stratum basale, stratuum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum lucidum (for thick skin only), and stratum corneum. These layers are all considered epithelial tissue.


Lyrics

One, two,
One, two, three, four five!
Basale, spinosum, granulosum, lucidum, corneum!
Bottom to top, an inverted cemetery.
Basale, spinosum, granulosum, lucidum, corneum!
Dead cells above, and the living ones buried!


Other Files

MP3 (demo)

music video

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) 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) Of the five layers, which one contains the cells that are most metabolically active? From where does it get its nutrients?

(2) Of the five layers, which one is named for its clear appearance in histological sections?

(3) Of the five layers, which one is named for the dark granules of keratohyalin that it contains?

(4) Of the five layers, which one is named for the spiky appearance of the cells in a histological section?

(5) In your own words, explain the "punchline" of the song, i.e., that the epidermis is an "inverted cemetery," with "dead cells above ... and the living ones buried."

(6) In which layer(s) do Langerhans cells normally reside?

(7) In which layer(s) do Merkel cells normally reside?

(8) In which layer(s) do melanocytes normally reside?

(9) What is the predominant protein in the cells of the outermost layers?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)