Brain Teacher Resources
Find Brain educational ideas and activities
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How Sugar Affects the Brain
Attention, sugar addicts! Here's why you can't quit the habit. Sweet taste receptors send a signal to the brain, which activates a reward system that responds by telling you to eat again. Over activating this reward system results in a lowered tolerance, and therefore increased amounts to get the same effect. Find out how dopamine levels in the brain are spiked by watching this film that will enrich your biology or health curriculum.
New! What Percentage of Your Brain Do You Use?
Have you heard that humans only use about 10 percent of their brains? Well, don't believe it! After describing the tremendous amount of energy needed to power our 86 billion densely packed neurons, the narrator also explains how our proficiency goes down as we try to tackle more than one task at a time. Your brain is not lazy! It is busy maintaining those neurons and sending constant signals, albeit unconsciously. Add this encouraging film to a instructional activity on the brain.
Your Brain is More Than a Bag of Chemicals
In a 15-minute lecture, a neurobiologist expounds upon the function of the human brain. So many of the pharmaceuticals prescribed for psychiatric disorders have unacceptable side effects. He shares current research that holds hope for more specific remedies for specific illnesses. Because of the level of content and style of delivery, this is more appropriate for high school or college-level learners.
On 'Punched Out': Looking at Brain Trauma and Other Risks of Violent Sports
The tragic story of Derek Boogard, a hockey star whose sports-related brain injuries eventually lead to his death, is told through a series of videos. There are also articles that can be read. This poignant lesson gets participants to consider and discuss the physical dangers of contact sports, as well as the emotional toll. In small groups, learners then prepare presentations about the relationship between sports and brain trauma.
New! Pre-assessment: The Brain
Break your class in to the general structure and function of the brain. Brainiacs discuss what they know about it and create personalized brain development timelines. They also take a true-false, pre-assessment quiz to get them thinking about this central organ. The lesson serves as an introduction to a fabulous, full unit on brain chemistry. Use it with your middle school human body systems curriculum.
This Is Your Brain on Pot
Students explore the causes and effects of marijuana addiction and research how THC affects different areas of the brain. They synthesize their knowledge by creating print advertisements that inform teenagers about the physiologic danger of drugs
The Human Brain
Become familiar with how the brain works! This human body teaches how to recognize different parts of the brain through a coloring activity that focuses on what function each part performs. Each student makes a brain puzzle and creates a survey about the side of the brain people use more often. Worksheets are not included, and the instructional activity requires the teacher to have a text about the brain.
What's in a Brain?
Bring the brain to life for your students with thought-provoking activities
Mapping the Brain
A virtual 3-D tour leads students to developing icons representing the function of various parts of the brain. These icons are then used to label hand-drawn maps of the brain. A worksheet, assessment, and detailed procedures are included.
Brain Breaks to Liven Up the School Day!
Short brain breaks increase engagement and encourage teamwork in elementary, middle school, and even high school classrooms.
The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on Veterans and Their Families
As far back as your scholars can remember, their country has been at war. Be sure they understand the various implications of this global conflict by presenting personal stories of veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) on the front lines. They watch video clips about TBI, filling out a viewing guide as they go. There are great informational handouts to educate military families about this under-diagnosed condition, possibly with the goal of creating an outreach. Check out the extension ideas for further research plans. It's best to find this instructional activity on the PBS website by entering "POV TBI" into the search engine, as the viewing guide and videos are actually linked there.
Diagnosing a Zombie: Brain and Body
Could zombies be driven by brain functions just like humans? This is a creative way to demonstrate to your class how we can use evidence and reasoning to diagnose particular situations, as well as to provide young learners with an overview of how behavioral abnormalities are rooted in the brain.
Protecting the Brain Against Concussion
"When kids sustain a concussion, we talk about them getting dinged or getting their bell rung...but what is it that we're really talking about?" This is a video that every adult and child should watch, as it details the real consequences of large impacts to the brain and illustrates the necessity of common safety measures that we often take for granted. Neuropsychologist Kim Gorgens explains the physiological effects of a concussion and reveals fascinating statistics regarding injuries sustained in adolescence versus adulthood.
New! Food for the Brain
With a couple of neat diagrams on student handouts, your life science or health class will examine the contents and serving sizes of healthy foods. They dissect a slice of pizza and scrutinize the nutritional value of its components in writing. Though the lesson is part of a unit,and some of the discussion directly pertains to the brain, it really is more of a general nutrition lesson, reflective of the USDA MyPlate guidelines. In other words, it can easily stand alone as part of your nutrition class.
New! Post-Assessment: Brain Chemistry
If you have implemented this fabulous brain chemistry unit in its entirety, you should have saved the pre-assessment quizzes from day one. In this assignment, individual learners go back over their original answers, and correct any incorrect responses. There is not much to the teacher's guide, but it is a useful resource,and it does make a pertinent and reflective conclusion to the brain chemistry curriculum.
The Busy Brain
Students explore biology by completing a human body worksheet. In this human brain lesson, students identify the different anatomy within the brain and the functions those pieces form. Students read an article about signals in the brain then answer study questions and complete a worksheet in class.
Students study the brain and how it performs the memory function. In this brain power lesson students complete a memory activity.
The Great Brain
Do you have a class set of The Great Brain? If so, check out this richly detailed guided reading lesson plan. Before, during, and after reading activities are provided for every chapter as well as comprehension and interpretive questions, vocabulary lists and journal prompts. Many of the activities ask young readers to make personal connections to the text. A great resource.
The Cockroach Beatbox
A neuroscientist explains, with the aid of creative and colorful animation and an actual cockroach leg, how the brain transmits and receives electrical messages. He uses electricity to cause the cockroach leg to move. This top-notch video is a must for your nervous system unit! Fabulous! If you are really ambitious, try the demonstration yourself!
Perception and the Brain
Students experience how the brain adapts over time to changes in what they perceive. For this human perception lesson, students wear special prism goggles that initially disorient the user. Over time, the student is able to adjust to the changes and perform a given task.