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Write the Name of a Gas

I found this picture in an image collection at The Chive called It’s nearly impossible to argue with kid logic. I believe 7-year-old Elijah had a perfectly good answer on number ten, yet the teacher marked it wrong. Isn't a fart a gas? Yet, it is. According to Wikipedia, farts are composed mostly of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane.

It's possible that the test required answers that were part of class discussion, but one gets the feeling that the teacher objected to the vulgarity of the term fart. If that was the case, she could have suggested the terms "flatulence" or "methane" as a substitute. Telling a child that a word is inappropriate is very different from telling a kid that he's wrong on a science test. After all, families who don't use the term "fart" are very likely to say "gas." Any 7-year-old knows they mean the same thing. What do you think?   

(Image credit: Christine Lee)

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Should the teacher have marked this answer as wrong?



I feel like the kid got punished twice here, both by having their answer marked wrong and by not not using this golden opportunity to teach the student what gasses are in farts by providing the list that you gave from Wikipedia.
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The teacher might argue it is a verb, and hence an action instead of a substance, even though it can refer to both. But the previous answer rain also works that way, referring both to an action and the product of that action. Questions and answers like that can be kind of tricky, as it is hard to tell what the student's understanding actually is. At the older level, a lot of effort is put into keeping terminology straight so that it is clear students are keeping the concepts behind them straight, even if actual scientists are much looser with the words.

Also, I take exception to the idea that everything is made of matter...
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If rain can be a liquid, why can't fart be a gas? Aside from the teacher's inability to comprehend what gas is there are two other questions I take issue with:

#5 Liquids do have their own shape - a drop of water has a shape. What the statement should be is, "Liquids hold their own shape." Having a shape and holding a shape are very different things.

#7 Not everything is made of matter. Is he too young to learn this? I doubt it. He doesn't even comprehend what matter truly is. He's just memorizing and providing responses to specific trigger words in the questions. You can easily do that with the TRUTH.
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I would have required the student to explain their answer in more detail. If they could name one or more specific gases in a fart, I would give them credit. By the same logic, air is made up of three main types of gasses with trace amounts of others, but if it is a good teacher, they would have already covered that topic and the students would already know this. I don't know a teacher that has covered the content of a fart in that much detail.
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