Dossier of Discovery: Got the Hiccups?

article by Cheryl Bullow , illustrated by Michel Streich

Learning Intention:  

I am learning to interpret information from different sources so that I can accurately use it in creating my own informative texts. 

Success Criteria: 

  • I can accurately recall information I learn from texts. 
  • I can cross check information from different texts. 
  • I can accurately present the information I have learnt by creating my own informative text. 


Essential knowledge: 

Information about identifying reliable sources of information can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Authority. 

After reading the article, students should watch the SciShow video World’s Most Asked Questions: How Can I Get Rid of the Hiccups? 

Ask students to recall the different methods explained in the article and video, including: 

  • Holding your breath for ten seconds 
  • Breathing into a paper bag 
  • Drinking a glass of water 
  • Swallowing a teaspoon of sugar 
  • Getting someone to jump out and scare you 

Discuss the scientific reason that these methods are used and how they help stop the hiccups. This should include: 

  • It distracts the vagus nerve running down our neck from the base of our brain, causing it to focus on our throat instead of our diaphragm (remind students that our diaphragm is the sheet of muscle under our lungs). 
  • It stops your intake of oxygen and increases your internal C02 concentration which signals the diaphragm to fix the problem. 

Instruct students to choose one of the methods to stop the hiccups and make an instructional poster about it. Their poster should include step by step instructions using written explanations and pictures, as well as diagrams to show how this method affects the body in a way that (hopefully!) causes the hiccups to stop.  

Students should also be encouraged to think of another way that they can stop the hiccups based on the science in the text and video, and should be free to use that for their poster.