New lesson plans about the brain are now available for teachers and students! Each lesson plan has an accompanying PowerPoint presentation for students and an interactive activity that allows them to get hands-on with how the brain works. The lesson plans also include student objectives and background information, and are paired with relevant Dana Alliance fact sheets (for 3rd to 5th grade students).
The first lesson, Build-a-Brain, teaches children about basic neuroanatomy and demonstrates the relationship between brain anatomy and function by comparing human brains to animal brains. The lesson incorporates the Dana Alliance Fact Sheets on Human and Animal Brains: How do They Compare and How Does the Brain Work?. As an interactive activity, students build the brain of an imaginary animal of their choosing using Play-Doh, learning which regions of the brain are responsible for various functions.
The second lesson plan, Expose Your Nose, teaches students about the sense of smell, the neural pathways for odors once they enter the nose, and how smells are tied to memories, integrating the How Do the Senses Work? fact sheet into the lesson. For the interactive activity, blindfolded students smell different odors, describe, and rate those odors to “expose their nose” to different scents, which may be associated with certain memories.
The Protect Your Brain lesson teaches students about the ventricular system, common brain injuries, how the brain is protected, and why it is important to protect the brain; it is paired with the How Does the Brain Work? fact sheet. The interactive activity has students use two eggs in two separate containers (one with water and one without) that are shaken vigorously – the extent of damage to each egg is an analogy for what would happen if the brain was not protected by cerebrospinal fluid.
The lesson plans and PowerPoints are great resources that can be utilized by BAW partners for Brain Awareness Week (BAW) activities and events! Check out other downloadable resources for kids on our Downloadable Resources for Kids page.
– Amanda Bastone