Nervous System

BY Harriette Sullivan 

Wareham Middle School

Project Description

During our study of the nervous system I would like each student to have a copy of Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak Ph.D..  We will read the book as a class and I would like to make the books available for the students to bring home and read with their families too.  The book focuses on how to keep the brain healthy and teaches students that the brain learns and grows when we make mistakes. Therefore practicing and sticking with a difficult task is very valuable to the brain.  It is a highly respected book, is very engaging, and has very good reviews.  I would also like to purchase a model of the human brain so students can see how the brain works.  Finally students would make models of neurons using playdoh.  The book focuses on keeping the brain healthy teaches students how the brain learns and grows when we make mistakes.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)?

I  know that students are burdened with a lot of tests in school so I choose not to evaluate them in this way.  We would play a game at the end of the unit, students would be in teams, and I would simply ask questions about the nervous system.  Working in teams allows for an additional opportunity to learn as students discuss answers within their groups. The winning team would win a prize.   Also students would create neurons with the play do and those would be evidence of their learning.

Benefit to the students and the school

The benefits to the students and our school would be that the children gain a greater understanding of the valuable learning and how necessary it is to exercise the brain.  This deeper understanding would support other subjects as the students discover the value of learning and trying new things as well as the fact that it is actually a brain building exercise when we have to try and try again to succeed.  It would help increase their determination to learn and stick with difficult tasks.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

Since Health class runs quarterly I would run this lesson 4 times per year.  I have about 44 students per term who would be receiving this lesson X 4 terms=176 students a year.  I will begin this unit in a few weeks time and repeat it, as I mentioned, throughout the year.

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