Classroom Bloopers

Classroom Bloopers Classroom Bloopers

You can use these buttons to move to the next or previous page.


3rd and 4th grade classes

Here are some amusing answers given to classroom science or health questions by 3rd and 4th graders. If you want to know the "real scoop," check out the "FACTS" listed below each by clicking on the "Fact" box.

Boy holding breath
water drop

When you breathe, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire.


Sounds funny, but it is true. One definition of "inspire " is to "breathe life into." Also, we do "expire" if we don't breathe, because we need oxygen to live.


H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water.


The H does not stand for Hot, or C for Cold as it does on water faucets. Water is made up of 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen (H2O). The H stands for Hydrogen and the O for Oxygen. CO2 is carbon dioxide.

Laboratory test tube with face in it

To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.


You would hold a "beaker," not a "deacon" over a flame. A "deacon" is usually a person in a church who assists the minister. A beaker is a container used in a lab.

dog sniffing the air

When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide.


Carbon monoxide is "odorless," Therefore, there is no way you could "smell" it. Odorless means "without smell or having no odor."


Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.


The proper spelling is Oxygen and Hydrogen. They are not made of "gin", which is a type of alcoholic drink.

Human body

Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars.


The proper spelling is "veins." In addition, there are no CATERPILLARS in our bodies. The very small blood vessels that connect arteries and veins are "capillaries."


Blood flows down one leg and up the other leg.


Blood travels in both directions in the legs, arms, and elsewhere in the body. During blood circulation, the arteries carry blood away from the heart. The capillaries connect the arteries to veins. Finally, the veins carry the blood back to the heart.


The Human Anatomy -- Online
  Our circulatory system

Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then expectoration.


This is partly true. Although people usually think "inspiration" is a new idea,it is also the act of breathing in. However, they meant to say "expiration" instead of "expectoration." Expiration is breathing out; expectoration usually refers to coughing or spitting something out.

dark of the Moon

The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader.


The moon is not one of the 10 planets in our solar system. It is a natural "satellite" that revolves around our planet. Nothing grows on the moon, but many things grow on the Earth.


Space & Earth Science!
  The NASA Moon Homepage

Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire.


"Dew" is water droplets condensed from the air, usually at night, onto cool surfaces, (like the leaves of a plant). The plants are not actually perspiring.


A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold.


This is true to some degree. Super-saturation is when a chemical solution is more highly concentrated than normally possible because of certain unique conditions of temperature and pressure.


Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.


All mushrooms are not shaped like umbrellas, and the umbrella shape is not caused by the need for an umbrella.


Fun Facts About Fungi (including mushrooms)

The body consists of three parts...the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five...a, e, i, o, and u.


The body consists of many parts. Three of its main sections include the cranium (skull portion covering the brain), thorax (chest cavity), and abdominal cavity (the area between the thorax and pelvis). The bowels (NOT VOWELS.) are the digestive tract below the stomach.


The Human Anatomy -- Online

parts of a flower

The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects.


Flowers do NOT have "pistols." They do have "pistils, which are something else entirely." A pistil is the seed-bearing organ of a flower.


The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana.


The alimentary canal is located in the human body. It is the mucous membrane-lined tube of the digestive system that runs through the body, and includes the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.


The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the outsides have been taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat to.


The skeleton is the vertebrate (bone) structure that protects and supports the soft organs, tissues, and parts. Bones in the body provide support, hematopoiesis, mineral protection, locomotion, and hearing.


Visit the Human Anatomy Online -- the Skeleton

parts of the skeletal system
animated teeth

A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two molars, and eight cuspidors.


The permanent teeth fall into four classes: the molars, the bicuspids or premolars, the cuspids or canines , and the incisors. In a full set of adult teeth, there are thirty-two teeth.


The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.


The tides are caused by the gravitational attraction of the Sun and the Moon. The Earth's great oceans are pulled to and fro. The fluids in our bodies are also affected to some degree.


Visit Space & Earth Science! to view the current moon phase.

Cartoon Dinosaur

A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is.


A fossil is a remnant or trace of something from a past time. It could be a skeleton, footprint, or leaf imprint embedded in rock or the earth’s crust, etc. Some fossils are of animals that have become extinct.


Learn more about fossils, dinosaurs, and more dinosaurs.

stop sign
wine bottle and glasses

Many women believe that an alcoholic binge will have no ill effects on the unborn fetus, but that is a large misconception.


True. Alcohol can cause very serious problems for unborn fetuses (babies). And it can cause some women to "miscarry" (where the baby arrives so prematurely that it is incapable of living on its own).


Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or negative.


The term is "positive" or negative...not affirmative. If you have positive blood, for example, a transfusion of negative blood would be deadly, and vice versa.


American Red Cross

planet with moons

Planet: A body of Earth surrounded by sky.


A planet is defined as a non-luminous celestial body illuminated by light from a star There are 9 planets in our solar system.


The NASA Planet Site

Rhubarb: A kind of celery gone bloodshot.


Rhubarb does look like a bloodshot celery stalk, but it is actually a separate type of plant with long-stalked leaves. Although not frequently prepared anymore, rhubarb pies are very good.

friendly cartoon lion face

Equator: A menagerie lion running around the Earth through Africa.


This student meant to say "an IMAGINARY LINE (not "menagerie lion") which CIRCLES the Earth and divides the north and south hemispheres for the purpose of determining "latitudes."


Germinate: To become a naturalized German.


Germinate means "to sprout, or to begin to grow."

line of running puppies

Liter: A nest of young puppies.


One definition for "litter" is babies produced by a multiparous mammal like dogs, cats, etc. (multiparous means normally giving birth to more than one offspring at a time). A "liter," on the other hand, is a unit of volume that is a little larger (1.056)


Conversion Factors

M.R.I in use

Magnet: Something you find crawling all over a dead cat.

MRI's use magnets to see into the body.

Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away.


No, that would be a definition for a "momento," not "momentum." Momentum is defined as "the force of motion."


Vacuum: A large, empty space where the Pope lives.


Nope -- the Pope lives in the Vatican. A "vacuum" is a space that is empty of matter -- it can be large or small.

cartoon of boy with slight nosebleed

For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower than the body until the heart stops.


Of course, the nose is part of the body but most importantly, you NEVER want your heart to stop. First aid for nosebleeds is simple:Keep the victim quietly seated, leaning forward if possible. Gently pinch the nostrils closed. Apply cold compresses to the victim's nose and face. If the person is conscious, it may be helpful to apply pressure beneath the nostril above lip. Instruct victim not to blow his/her nose for several hours after the bleeding has stopped, or clots could be dislodged and start the bleeding again.


For drowning: Climb on top of the person and move up and down to make artificial perspiration.


You would want to create artificial "respiration," not perspiration. The best way to start a person's breathing is to use Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). CPR is something everyone should learn.


Learn "CPR"

For fainting: Rub the person's chest or, if a lady, rub her arm above the hand instead.


The best treatment for fainting is to put the victim's head lower than his/her feet. If someone is beginning to faint, get him/her to immediately put their head between their knees.

Cow waving

To keep milk from turning sour, keep it in the cow.


Actually, it shouldn't stay in the cow for the cow's sake. Cows who are producing milk, need to be milked regularly. Instead of keeping it in the cow, keep it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh longer if it stays cold.

eye looking out a hole in paper

To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose.


Ouch. That would hurt. To remove a foreign body on the inside of the eyelid, proceed as follows: Pull upper eyelid over the lower eyelashes. If the irritant is still there, then lift the eyelid and remove the object with sterile gauze.

boy making a sick face

For a head cold, use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat.


That would be an "atomizer" -- a device for producing a fine spray. "Agonize" means "to be in extreme pain."


For asphyxiation: Apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead.


Lets hope that the artificial respiration helps the victim START BREATHING again. Many people are saved every year by receiving artificial respiration in the form of CPR, etc.


For dog bite, put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it.


You do "quarantine" a dog after he bites someone in order to control his movements until you can determine that he is not suffering from rabies or other disease. Animals who do have rabies and are beyond treatment are usually "euthanised" (which typically means that since the animal


Dog Bite Prevention and Treatment

5th and 6th grade classes

Here are some more amusing answers given to classroom science questions by 5th and 6th graders. Some of the answers are not completely wrong, but they all offer funny ways of looking at the world around us! But be sure to check out the "FACTS" listed below each by clicking on the box so you'll have the real scoop!

Horse running

One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.


One definition for "horsepower" is the power exerted BY a horse when pulling. But the more accurate definition is 745.7 watts or 550 foot-pounds per second.

storm cloud

You can listen to thunder after lightning and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don't hear it, you got hit, so never mind.


The sound of thunder reaches us after we see the lightning because light travels much faster than sound. Count the seconds between the light and the sound. For every five seconds in between, the lightning is one mile further away.


When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms. But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions.


When atoms are split, an "explosion" of nuclear energy can be created. The atom bomb was invented based on this principle.

Stork carrying baby

Talc is found on rocks and on babies.


Talc is a soft mineral found in flat, smooth layers of rock. It is true that purified talc is frequently used to make powders such as baby powder!


The law of gravity says "no fair jumping up without coming back down."


The Earth's gravity is what keeps us from "floating" off our planet! Gravity is the force of attraction that acts between all objects based on their mass. Gravity is considered to be the force that holds our universe together.

man running around box

When people run around and around in circles we say they are crazy. When planets do it we say they are orbiting.


There may be many reasons people choose to run around in circles! The 9 planets in our solar system naturally rotate (orbit) around the sun as a result of particular forces of nature.


Rainbows are just to look at, not to really understand.


Sunlight is a combination of seven visible colors: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Rainbows appear when raindrops reflect the visible light colors from the sun at different angles. You can see the rainbow when the sun is at your back and the rain is in front of you.

lab flask

To most people solutions mean finding the answers. But to chemists solutions are things that are still all mixed up.


A solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances. Chemists frequently work with solutions in their labs. They also come up with the other kind of "solutions" by solving a problem through their research.


Someday we may discover how to make magnets that can point in any direction.


Magnets can be pointed (aimed) in any direction. But the hands of a compass will always naturally point toward "magnetic north" unless a stronger magnet is placed nearby to interfere with the natural pull.


A vibration is a motion that cannot make up its mind which way it wants to go.


A vibration is a "to and fro" motion called "oscillation."


South America has cold summers and hot winters, but somehow they still manage.


The seasons in countries located south of the equator are reversed from those in North America. In South America winter is from June to September and summer is from December to March.


Water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees. There are 180 degrees between freezing and boiling because there are 180 degrees between north and south.


This is just a coincidence. There is no relationship between the 180 degrees between north and south, and the 180 degrees Fahrenheit difference in boiling and freezing points for water. In addition, remember there are two different ways to measure temperature -- Fahrenheit (F) and Centigrade (C). Water freezes at 0 degrees centigrade and boils at 100 degrees centigrade.


There are 26 vitamins in all, but some of the letters are yet to be discovered. Finding them all means living forever.


There are 13 main vitamin groups, but there are 8 additional types of vitamins in Vitamin B. They were named after letters of the alphabet for ease in referring to them, not because of any correlation to the number of letters of the alphabet! It is unlikely that finding a new vitamin for every letter of the alphabet would help us live forever!


There is a tremendous weight pushing down on the center of the Earth because of so much population stomping around up here these days.


The weight pushing down on the Earth results primarily from the earth's gravitational pull, the weight of the earth pushing inward, and the weight of our atmosphere -- not from people stomping around!


Lime is a green-tasting rock.


Lime is "calcium oxide," and it is found naturally in crushed limestone. It's green color has nothing to do with how it would taste, and it should not be eaten! However, there is a fruit called a "lime" that does have a distinctive citrus flavor, and it can be eaten.

Sun with a clock face

Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun. But I have never been able to make out the numbers!


You should never look directly into the sun because that can seriously damage your eyes! People look at an instrument called a "sundial" to tell time. The sun's shadow falling across the sundial moves throughout the day, continuously pointing to the number for the correct time.


Many dead animals in the past changed to fossils while others preferred to be oil.


It is true that over time some dead animals become fossilized and some become oil -- but this is a result of the particular natural forces acting on each -- not a matter of what they PREFERRED to be!

funny father with newspaper

Genetics explain why you look like your father, and if you don't, why you should.


Genetics is the study of how "genes" work. The genes we get from our parents do explain why we look the way we do. But the fact that you have some of your father's genes doesn't necessarily mean that you SHOULD look like your father. In fact, once genes from each parent are mixed together,


Vacuums are nothings. We only mention them to let them know we know they're there.


It is true that a vacuum is a space with no matter in it. But a "vacuum" can be very useful -- think about the vacuum formed when you use a drinking straw, and the vacuum cleaner you have at home! And don't forget that "empty space" is also a vacuum!


Some oxygen molecules help fires burn while others help make water, so sometimes it's brother against brother.


A fire cannot burn without an oxygen supply,and oxygen molecules are also found in water (H2O). Oxygen has many different uses! Without oxygen to breathe, we couldn't live! Much oxygen comes from green plants and trees, so save our forests! And remember,plants and trees needs us too. They need the carbon dioxide mammals and humans "exhale" to survive!

test tube spilled

We say the cause of perfume disappearing is evaporation. Evaporation gets blamed for a lot of things people forget to put the top on.


Evaporation is the process which changes a substance from a liquid or solid state to a gas. Liquids left open to exposure to the heat in the air will evaporate. And don't forget that evaporation is also part of the rain and snow process!


In looking at a drop of water under a microscope, we find there are twice as many H's as O's.


This is true. H2O is the chemical name for water because water is made up of two molecules of hydrogen (H) for each one molecule of oxygen (O).

Sun and cloud

Most books now say our sun is a star. But it still knows how to change back into a sun in the daytime.


We call the star that provides our light and serves as the center of our planetary group the "sun"; by definition, the sun is ALWAYS a star. But it is NOT one of the stars we can see at night because it is on the other side of the earth from us at that time.


I am not sure how clouds get formed. But the clouds know how to do it, and that is the important thing.


Clouds form when water in lakes, oceans, rivers, and other surfaces evaporates (read about evaporation above!). The gas that is created expands and cools as it rises, forming clouds which may eventually return to a liquid state in the form of rain or a solid state in the form of snow!


Clouds are high flying fogs.


Fog is a cloud that is formed so low that it rests near the ground or a body of water.


Clouds just keep circling the earth around and around and around. There is not much else to do!


Clouds are always forming and reforming over the earth. Clouds move faster and farther on windy days, but the "same" clouds are not circling the earth repeatedly!

boy making a sick face

Cyanide is so poisonous that one drop of it on a dog's tongue will kill the strongest man.


Cyanide is very poisonous -- but if the cyanide is on the DOG's tongue, how could it kill a MAN?


A monsoon is a French gentleman.


A monsoon is a seasonal wind that blows over the northern part of the Indian Ocean and surrounding land causing heavy rains. Monsoon conditions are created by the difference in the heating and cooling of air over land and sea. "Monsieur," not monsoon, is the French word for gentleman.


Thunder is a rich source of loudness.


Yes, thunder can be very loud when close by! The sound of thunder is caused by the sudden expansion of air that occurs when the air is heated by a discharge of electricity from a bolt of lightning.

snowman globe

A blizzard is when it snows sideways.


A blizzard is a blinding snowstorm with strong cold winds. It occurs when a cold air mass moves out of the Arctic into the warmer temperate zone. The heavy cold air forces the warm moist air to rise, and the rising action produces a heavy snow storm.


Isotherms and isobars are even more important than their names sound.


Isotherms are lines drawn on maps to connect places that have the same temperature. Isobars are lines drawn on climate charts and maps to connect places that have the same atmospheric pressure. Both are very important tools for predicting our weather.

palm tree
hula dancer

It is so hot in some places that the people there have to live in other places.


The earth's climate does vary widely, and it is very hot near the equator and in the "temperate zones." However, some people have adapted to the intense heat of such areas (like our deserts), and are able to live in those extreme climates.


The wind is like the air, only pushier.


Wind IS air moving across the earth's surface. The movement is caused by uneven heating of our atmosphere by the sun. Heated air expands and rises, and air from cooler areas then flows in underneath to take its place. This movement (or "circulation" of air) is what we call "wind."


You can use these buttons to move to the next or previous page.

Baby ducks following mother duck
Other stuff you might like ...
Wildlife Articles
Learn about wildlife and ecology! Read these tales written by NIEHS staff.
Other stuff you might like ...
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Tips on how kids can help the environment.