Discovery sixth graders try bugs as part of book read – InForum

FARGO — Teachers often come up with unique, memorable ways to teach a lesson or make a point.

“OK, so Cole gets mauled by a bear, whose fault is it?” Discovery Middle School English teacher Laura Kowatch asked her students.

Kowatch knows how to surprise and inspire her sixth-grade language arts students.

“I have crickets and mealworms for you guys to try,” Kowatch said as the students groaned and squirmed. “These are real crickets and real mealworms. They are NOT alive.”

Kowatch walked around her classroom with a cereal bowl full of dried crickets and mealworms, showing them to her students.

“I don’t want it on my hand. I don’t want it on my hand,” one student said.

Fargo sixth graders at Discovery Middle School react to bowls of bugs for them to eat as part of a book lesson on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The book, “Touching Spirit Bear,” is about a young boy who is banished to a remote island and has to eat worms and insects to survive.

Ryan Longnecker/WDAY News

“I don’t want to eat it,” said another student.

Kowatch wanted to give the students just a taste of what life was like for the character Cole in the book they are reading called, “Touching Spirit Bear,” by Ben Mikaelsen.

“This is my favorite unit, my favorite book, my favorite day of the whole year,” Kowatch said. He (Cole) ate raw bugs that squirmed and wiggled on his tongue, but it just kind of lets them (students) delve into the literature in a literal way, where they get to experience a little bit of what Cole dealt with too. “

Just a few sat out the experiment, but most — with parental approval via email — went for it. Crickets and mealworms.

“It tastes like the little Doritos,” another student said, laughing.

A lot of the kids were grossed out by the texture, but this reporter tried a mealworm, and thought it tasted like chicken.

In the end after a few slugs of water and some classic, sixth-grade reactions, all survived the buggy brunch and only two went to the nurse’s office for post-cricket nausea.

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