Science - The seven ages of gran

18th January 2013 at 00:00

What it's all about

I have been given a photo of Amy's grandmother. "It was taken after she had her boob job," Amy says.

"It's lovely, Amy. And I can see exactly why she won the Glamorous Gran competition in Magaluf. But we want grandparents who are a bit older than 38 and preferably not topless."

We are sorting through photographs that the children have brought in as part of our study of human life cycles in science. The aim is to make a display that shows the physical changes that take place in humans, writes Steve Eddison.

The children have been asked to find a selection of pictures of one grandparent or great-grandparent over 70, for every stage of life.

We end up with five complete photo-timelines - two grandfathers and three grandmothers. After we label all the stages of Rebecca's grandfather's timeline, I tell the children that Maddy's grandmother is coming in to talk to us through hers.

When she does, Maddy's grandmother cannot recall what it was like to be a tiny monochrome blur in a christening shawl, but she can remember everything from 5 upwards - particularly her shock at being pregnant with Maddy's mum at 46 after a wild weekend in Blackpool. And the older she gets, the more explicit her descriptions of age-related illnesses and declining bodily functions become.

"Have you got any topless photographs?" Amy asks.

"Not since I had my mastectomy," she replies.

"What's a mastectomy?" asks Jack.

"A sort of boob job," says Maddy's gran.

Next time I might just stick to photos.

What else?

Explore life cycles with HamiltonTrust's lesson plan. bit.lytesLifeCycles.

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