Circle, Circle, Dot, Dot… Now you have the Cootie Shot!

Anybody outside of the US ever heard of that phrase? I hadn’t until recently but it’s actually a huge part of North American children’s popular culture. It’s a ‘vaccine’ for the condition of Cooties, a fictional disease perceived to infect others, particularly members of the opposite sex through body contact, proximity or touching a person’s possessions (definition from Wikipedia). It’s probably best compared to the ‘lurgi’ in the United Kingdom.

I don’t know how to quite describe the Cooties thing. Children inventing a new disease to fit in with their play and construction of their worlds. If children are playing in their own worlds why not invent these real life factors too? They have even invented their own cure (the ritual above) and some children also sell cootie shots – talk about trying to take part in the global economy. From this single idea many other areas of literacy have begun to bleed in.

The video below shows a video produced to raise awareness of Cooties…

Interesting… but what if children made their video when they actually believed cooties was real? Children raising awareness of an issue that they perceive to be completely true. That would be very interesting indeed…

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