Teacher’s Guide

Teaching Suggestions for
The Skin You’re In!

      Article, Page

"The Skinny on Skin," pg. 6
It’s “all around us,” but do we know what it is? Here’s the m.o. (of course, that’s modus operandi, or method of operating) on makeovers, the facts on function, and the news on nerves, accompanied by a sidebar on TV makeovers (pg. 8), the inside story on hair and nails (pg. 10), and advice from a dermatologist (pg. 11).
Vocabulary, Cause and Effect.

"Skin to Skin: The Science of Touch," pg. 12
Receptors in the skin register pressure, heat, cold, and pain. Our sense of touch is vital to survival. Sidebars explore how the blind read Braille (pg. 14) and the difference between itching and tickling (pg. 15).
Cause and Effect, Inductive Reasoning

"Tactile Illusions " (Activity to Discover), pg. 16
Try these five experiments with your friends to trick the sense of touch.
Following Directions, Drawing Conclusions

"Second Skin," pg. 17
Skin grafts and artificial skin can save the lives of disease and burn victims. A sidebar (pg. 19) describes possible future uses of electronic skin.
Cause and Effect, Applications

"When Acne Attacks," pg. 20
What causes acne, what health habits can help prevent it, and what myths need to be busted? Present treatments include over-the-counter and prescription medications, while future treatments may involve lasers. A sidebar (pg. 23) defines other common skin disorders.
Cause and Effect, Applications

"Is It Possible to Get a Healthy Tan?," pg. 24
Tanned skin is damaged skin, so no tan is safe, unless you opt for the paint-on variety (sidebar, pg. 27). A second sidebar (pg. 28) looks at research studies that might someday lead to the development of a safe tanning method.
Process Analysis, Interpreting Data

"Making Morphs"(Brain Strain), pg. 29
How many colors does Suzy need to color the skin of her lizardlike morph?
Following Directions, Inductive Reasoning

"The Color of Skin," pg. 30
This story of an Indian girl’s encounter with American racial diversity is a tale of youthful innocence and integrity.
Characterization, Theme

"Tattoos: Fad, Fashion, or Folly?," pg. 34
Far from a modern fad, tattooing is more than 35,000 years old. Are you a candidate for a tattoo (sidebar, pg. 37), or is a temporary piece of henna art more your style (sidebar, pg. 36)?
Deductive Reasoning, Decision Making

"A Tattoo is Forever — or Maybe Not!" (Activity to Discover), pg. 39
Here’s a method for creating your own temporary tattoos.
Following Directions

"What’s Up" and "Planet Watch," pg. 40
Get up early to watch the Eta Aquarid meteor shower that peaks on May 5. On other May mornings, look for Mercury and Mars. In the evenings, see Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Following Directions, Observation

"Do the Moon Phase!" (You Can Do Astronomy), pg. 42
Use simple materials to model the phases of the moon.
Following Directions, Making Inferences

"Skin That Can Make Your Skin Crawl," pg. 45
Skin colors, patterns, and secretions — even natural sunscreens! — help animals survive. Here are just a few of the skin-sational adaptations that have evolved.
Making Inferences, Process Analysis

Think Tank (Discussion Starters to Use Before Reading the Magazine):
  1. What are the functions of skin? Make a list of the jobs skin performs and then add to your list as you read this issue.
  2. If you could design a skin for a new form of human, how would you change either its structures or its functions? Would you eliminate freckles, for example, or make it photosynthetic? What about hair and fingernails? Make a list of skin characteristics you would change and state your reasons why.
Classroom "Syzygy":     Talk, Connect, Assess
Pg. 6 – "The Skinny on Skin" Pg. 24 – "Is It Possible to Get a Healthy Tan?" Far Out!: Moving Beyond the Magazine (with some skin quotes. Can you guess the four different authors?))

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?"

Small-Group Collaborative Project: Break the class into five groups and assign each group a topic, such as dog breeds, dogs in U.S. history, dogs in world history, dog heroes, or dogs with jobs. Challenge each group to research the assigned topic and prepare an audiovisual presentation for the class. Break the class into teams of three students each. Assign to each team a specific geographic area (e.g., Saharan Africa or the Pacific Rim) or cultural group (e.g., Native Americans or Pacific Islanders). Have each team prepare a presentation on the techniques of skin decoration historically popular in their assigned culture or region. Presentations should include a visual element.

"All the beauty of the world, is but skin deep." (Ogden Nash)

Community Connection: Invite a local dermatologist to speak to the class about his or her work. Ask about their patients’ most popular requests, the most common skin diseases, and future trends in the science and medicine of skin care.

"I’ll not shed her blood, nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow."

Large-Group Class Project: Organize two bulletin boards to display pictures of students with their pets. On one board, post tributes that students write to their pets. On the other, ask students to post messages written from the pet’s point of view.

"I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Individual Project: Write a short story inspired by this quote. Create characters who are the “four little children” as grownups. Portray a time in which their parent’s (the speaker’s) dream has come true.

Sources of quotes:

1. The Old Testament of the Bible (Jeremiah 13.23)

2. Ralph Venning, from Orthodoxe Paradoxes, 1650 (and you thought it was Shakespeare)

3. Okay, this one is Shakespeare, from Othello.

4. Martin Luther King, Jr., from his famous speech in Washington, D.C., in 1963