The brain is complex and throughout our lifespan continues to create new neural pathways and alter existing ones in order to adapt to new experiences, learn new information and create new memories. This lesson explores students' understanding of different parts and functions of the brain so they better understand the learning process.
Students work collaboratively to develop an understanding of the different parts and functions of the brain. They also discover that the brain is malleable, and that engaging in challenging tasks ensures that the brain is always growing (neuroplasticity).
By the end of the lesson, students will understand that:
- the brain strengthens with use. Learning and practising challenging things helps your brain to form new connections and to grow
- they can improve how they learn throughout life by understanding how the brain works
- the brain is a muscle and is always changing. This is known as neuroplasticity.
Class discussion: Brain facts 20 min
- The teacher demonstrates the size of the human brain. For a high-impact visual demonstration, use a model or a medium-size cauliflower. Two hands pressed together also makes a good visual.
- Students work as individuals to come up with as many facts about the brain as they can.
- Students then work in small groups of three to combine their facts on to one sheet of A3 paper.
- Each group reports back to the teacher, who collates the facts on the board under the heading ‘What we know about the brain’.
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