Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles (1974)


Concept featured in film: Digestive system ( bacterial induced flatulence); metabolism of bacteria

Location of clip: DVD: Chapter 11



Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: A bunch of cowboys sit around a campfire eating beans. They eat too many and a long round of flatulence ensues. (Obviously use discretion in showing this clip. Adolescents adore this sort of clip. Just be sure your administration is supportive).

Connection of flickclip to the concept: This is a humorous, yet truly biological way to introduce digestion, especially with gas-inducing foods. This clip can also be used when studying bacteria.

Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What is it about certain foods that give people gas? What parts of the digestive system are involved?

b. What kinds of foods are the cowboys eating? Is it realistic to think that these foods are causing the gas? How quickly does the digestive system actually work?

c. What is the role of bacteria in gas production?

d. You could look at the rate of the people chewing. Do you think the particular rate affects how much gas is produced?

e. How does this clip compare to what you have experienced?

2. For a possible assessment, you can show the clip and then have students describe the pathway the beans take through the digestive system.

3. You can also examine the clip through a microbiological lens. Where does the gas arise from during life cycle of bacteria? Students can research the process by addressing such questions as: Do all bacteria release gas? How are lower intestinal bacteria the same or different from bacteria residing in the small intestine or in the mouth? Why doesn't your nose "fart" since bacteria reside in your nose?