How the Brain Works Lesson Plan

There is a power point that goes with this lesson. It is titled How Your Brain Thinks Thoughts Power Point

In this lesson, young people get an understanding of how the brain thinks thoughts as messages are transferred from neuron to neuron through synapses. Through a PowerPoint presentation, a ball toss activity, and a short video clip, young people will learn about their brains and will be introduced lightly to the growth mindset. The lesson closes with a fun Brain Quiz Show that celebrates young people’s new learning.GoalDemonstrate understanding of how the brain thinks thoughts.ObjectivesBy participating in this lesson, young people will:1.Identify basic structures of neurons and how thought patterns and learning are conducted.2.Define growth mindset.3.List that the brain needs proper fuel, sleep and challenge for optimal growth.4.Describe why challenge helps your brain.Anchor Vocabulary•Neuron- a specialized, impulse-conducting cell that is the basic unit of the nervous system, consisting of the cell body and its parts, the axon and dendrites.•Axon- the long thread-like part of the nerve cell (neuron) that transmits impulses out from the cell body.•Dendrites- the branching process of a nerve cell (neuron) that conducts impulses from other cells into its cell body. •Synapse - the space where a nerve impulse is relayed from one cell to another through chemicals called neurotransmitters. The chemicals transfer nerve information across the synapse just like a boat carrying a message between two shores. The electrical impulse from one cell triggers a chemical release in the synapse (space), and the chemical flows across the space and triggers the next cell’s electrical activity. The message flow is as follows: 1 cell’s axon—to synapse——to next cell’s dendrites.Materials & Media•Sound system or CD Player (and an upbeat song)•Computer with MS PowerPoint installed•One ball of string (or ball of yarn) for each group of ten youth•A timer•LCD Projector•Step-It-Up-2-Thrive Video Clip: Lesson #11: Star Wars Clip •Step-It-Up-2-Thrive Video Clip: Lesson #11: Neurons & Synapses •Step-It-Up-2-Thrive Digital Resources: Lesson #M1 PowerPoint: How the Brain Thinks Thoughts•Optional: small prizes or treats for everyone who participated in the Brain Quiz Show•Youth notebooksHandouts

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