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8.3: Activities and Answer Keys

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Activity 7-1: Cortical Experiences

PLAN

Summary Students use models they prepared earlier (“Big Brain on a Stick” or “Thinking Cap”) to review the important functions of the different brain regions.

Objectives

Students:

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} identify each cortical region and its specific sensory function (hearing, vision, smell, taste, and touch).

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} explain how sensory regions communicate with each other through nerve impulses.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} explain the effect on sensory function if damage occurs in a specific cortical region.

Student Materials

  • Activity Report
  • Brain models such as “Big Brain on a Stick” and “Thinking Cap”
  • Plastic wrap
  • Washable markers (various colors)

Teacher Materials

  • Activity Report Answer Key
  • Large chart or transparencies showing regions of the brain and their functions.

Advance Preparation

Gather student materials (models, plastic wrap, and pens) for each student team, or ask students to bring them for each team. Collect teacher materials for demonstration. Remind students to have texts available for reference. Provide storage or display space for students to place materials after the day's activity. You may want to videotape presentations for use later, with other classes, or for assessment purposes.

Invite a guest speaker to talk about the brain and its functions. Suggestions for a speaker include a physician (neurologist), a nurse, or a neurobiologist.

Estimated Time Approximately one 50-minute period Add additional time for class discussion.

Prerequisites and Background Information

Students should have knowledge of the structure and function of the different brain regions.

Students should use their text as a reference.

Helpful Hints

Students can explain to their families what they have learned about the structures and functions of the brain. The completion of the assignment can be a signed note with comments from an adult at home.

Have students create a computer drawing or model on which they indicate the structures and functions of different parts of the brain.

Invite students to do research on how scientists have learned about which parts of the brain are responsible for which functions.

IMPLEMENT

Introduce Activity 7-1 by reminding students that this is an opportunity for them to draw upon what they have learned about the brain and its functions. Encourage them to use their texts as reference, as they help each other and ask and answer questions among themselves.

Steps 1-3 You may wish to demonstrate how much plastic wrap you want students to use. If you decide to recycle the plastic wrap, instruct students to wash off their markings and dry the wrap for the next class.

Step 4 Provide storage or display space for students to place materials after the day's activity.

If students present their conclusions to the class, give them guidance as to how this will be done.

ASSESS

Use the written responses on the Activity Report to assess if students can

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} identify each cortical region and its specific sensory function (hearing, vision, smell, taste, and touch).

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} explain how sensory regions communicate with each other through nerve impulses.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} explain the effect on sensory function if damage occurs in a specific cortical region.

Activity 7-1: Cortical Experiences – Activity Report Answer Key

  • Sample answers to these questions will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org to request sample answers.
  1. Indicate on the picture below where you would experience
    1. hearing
    2. vision
    3. smell
    4. taste
    5. touch
  2. An X-ray shows that a person has a damaged area in the occipital region of the cortex. What might be the outcome of damage to this area of the brain?
  3. How do you think the regions of the brain communicate with each other?
  4. Think about what happens when you use language to speak or to write. Using what you know about the cortex, suggest a pathway that the nerve impulses must take in order for you to complete one of these tasks.
  5. Remember that each person has a brain that is unique and can provide the basis for special talents.
    1. Describe two of your special talents and indicate which parts of the brain are involved as you develop those talents.
    2. What should you do to help you further develop those talents? Practice to maintain and/or increase neural connections.

    Learning More about Nervous System Disorders Students do a library search on a nervous system disorder and write a report to share their findings with the class.

    How Much Sleep Do You Need? Students record when they fall asleep and when they wake up for two weeks. Each day they also note their physical and mental energy levels and check to see if there is a correlation between amount of sleep and energy level.

    What Do You Think?

    • Is the mind the same thing as the brain? Explain.
    • What preparation would you recommend to a friend who is taking a test, giving a presentation, or writing a paper? You want to help her keep her mind sharp. What should she do the day and night before?

Activity 7-2: Improving Your Memory

PLAN

Summary Students explore memory and ways to improve it.

Objectives

Students:

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} identify methods to improve memory.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} describe a preferred method and practice by remembering a list of items.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} determine specific applications for using their preferred memory method.

Student Materials

  • Activity Report

Teacher Materials

  • Activity Report Answer Key

Estimated Time Approximately one 50-minute class period

Interdisciplinary Connection

This activity can be used in any discipline at school.

Helpful Hints

Students can make a class list of their suggested ways to improve memory. It could be displayed on a bulletin board or poster. The list could be shared with other classes and with families at home.

Analyze class results of the suggested memory-improvement methods. Match students to the numbers of correct answers scored using those methods. Summarize the results of this analysis on bar graphs. Use as a basis for class discussion.

Have students select one of their memory-improvement methods for use in a different class at school or in an after-school activity. Have students develop a plan for testing the effects of using this method. Encourage them to keep notes on how their memory improves. Results can be shared through individual written reports, class presentations, and with families at home.

IMPLEMENT

Introduce Activity 7-2 by having students perform a simple memory activity. Have them look briefly at several objects and then write down names of as many as they can remember. Any objects can be used for this exercise, such as pencil, eraser, paper clip, bandage, rubber band, paper cup, bar of soap, etc. Select 10-20 objects as a starting point.

Steps 1-5 Remind students that memory can be viewed as stored information in the brain. It is the result of many different parts of the nervous system working together. Memories may be stored in a variety of ways including pictures, sounds, smells, feelings, numbers, words, faces, rhythms, rhymes, and melodies.

Step 6 For additional practice in improving memory, use the objects to design a memory game. For greater challenge, add more objects. Encourage students to try a variety of memory methods and to share their results.

ASSESS

Use the written responses on the Activity Report to assess if students can

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} explain how the use of stories, mnemonic devices, concept maps, songs Craps), or pictograms can be used to remember new terms or concepts.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} demonstrate how to analyze the usefulness of different types of memory methods.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} explain the importance of selecting a memory method to make connections between new things being learned and previous knowledge.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} communicate their preferred memory methods and why they are useful.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} describe how methods for remembering can be used in their everyday lives.

Activity 7-2: Improving Your Memory – Activity Report Answer Key

  • Sample answers to these questions will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org to request sample answers.
  1. Team list of methods for improving memory.
  2. Record the memory method that you prefer.
  3. Use the space below to write down the list of words from memory.
  4. How effective was this memory method for you? Give reasons for your answer.
  5. What else could you do to improve your ability to remember?
  6. Give three examples for how you can use your preferred methods of improving your memory in your daily activities.
  7. Summarize what you have learned from this activity.

Activity 7-3: Your Nervous System in Action

PLAN

Summary In this culminating activity, students apply their knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system to real-life problem solving. They have opportunities to offer explanations to everyday problems involving the nervous system.

Objective

Students:

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} show how specific examples of accidents and use of drugs can affect the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Student Materials

  • Activity Report
  • Text
  • Models of the brain (“Big Brain on a Stick,” “Thinking Cap”)
  • Preserved specimen of the brain (optional)

Teacher Materials

  • Activity Report Answer Key
  • (Optional) Large charts of the brain and nervous system, other models students have made (e.g., neuron, reflex arcs).

Advance Preparation

Gather “Big Brain on a Stick” and “Thinking Cap” models and any desired preserved specimens or charts of the nervous system.

Estimated Time Variable, depending upon how much is done in class

One 50-minute period for students to discuss and complete answers in small groups, then one 50-minute period for oral presentation and demonstrations

The summary assignment will take approximately one to two 50-minute periods (including rewrites) but also may be given as a homework assignment.

Interdisciplinary Connection

Use this activity in health class or with a drug education unit to learn how chemical substances affect the normal function of the nervous system.

Prerequisite and Background Information

The completion of Activity 2-1: Big Brain on a Stick and Activity 2-2: Thinking Cap.

IMPLEMENT

Introduce Activity 7-3 by discussing with students the parts of the nervous system and their functions, using the “Big Brain on a Stick” and “Thinking Cap” models.

  • Give students guidelines for working together.
  • Tell students whether you want them to write their answers individually or in teams.

Conclusion of Activity Students can listen to or show other groups their responses to the problem presented. They also could present these to the class for further discussion.

Summary Two suggestions are given for a written summary in item 7 on the Activity Report. This writing can be done in class or at home. Additional options include showing knowledge through a poster, a drawing or painting, a series of cartoons or drawings, or a dramatic presentation.

Extending Activity 7-3

  • Spinal meningitis is a disease in which the meninges become infected. Using additional resources, students could describe the cause, symptoms, and treatment of spinal meningitis. Include any questions about this disease and where information can be found.
  • Students could work with a partner and take turns constructing “human puppet,” using their knowledge of the brain and nervous system. Take a piece of string and tape one end onto the partner's left hand and the other end on the head over the right side of the brain region controlling the left hand. Repeat this procedure for two other regions of the body and brain. As the partner pulls on a string, the “human puppet” moves, the body part attached to the string shows which part of the brain is involved in the action.
  • Modification: Students could work in group of five. One of the students could be the “human puppet.” The other students could attach strings to her/him connecting the brain area to the body region controlled by that portion of the brain. As strings are pulled and the puppet moves, students can guess and review which part of the brain is involved in the action.
  • This activity connects well to drug education particularly how chemical substances affect the normal function of the nervous system.

Helpful Hints

Students could share their knowledge of the nervous system with parents at home, bringing back a signed statement with comments.

Students also could present their explanations to other classes or younger students. This could be done in a theater format or by setting up several stations, one for each problem.

ASSESS

Use the written responses on the Activity Report to assess if students can

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} demonstrate and explain how particular accidents and drugs affect the normal functions of the nervous system.

Activity 7·3: Your Nervous System in Action – Activity Report Answer Key

  • Sample answers to these questions will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org to request sample answers.
  1. Describe the structure and functions of the spinal cord.
  2. What might happen to you if your spinal cord were severed
    1. at the neck?
    2. twelve inches down from the neck?
    3. at the waist?
  3. You have learned that alcohol is a drug that acts on the nervous system by interfering with transmission of nerve impulses. What specific location in the brain is most affected by alcohol?
  4. Select four of the following and explain what could happen if a person drinks alcohol and tries to
    1. take a math test.
    2. ride a bike.
    3. drive a car.
    4. baby-sit three young children.
    5. play baseball.
    6. cook a meal.
  5. Scientists learn about functions of certain parts of the brain by studying brain-damaged accident victims. They observe how the damaged areas change the behavior and body functions of the patient. Use your knowledge of brain functions to predict what might happen if a person
    1. had a stroke.
    2. forgot to wear a bike helmet and had an accident causing damage to the right cerebral hemisphere.
    3. was hit in the head between the left eye and left ear by a fast-pitched baseball.
    4. neglected to fasten a car seat belt and hit his forehead on the windshield of the car.
  6. Identify the areas of the brain where damage would cause
    1. paralysis of the right side of the body.
    2. inability to see flashes of light.
    3. certain disorders affecting hearing.
  7. Summary.
    1. Write a letter to a younger brother or sister telling what you have learned about the brain and its functions. Include the importance of normal brain function for sustaining life. Provide some suggestions for how to care for and protect your brain and nervous system.
    2. Imagine that you are a part of the nervous system, such as the cerebrum, cerebellum, hypothalamus, spinal cord, or another part of your choice. Write a description in which you include your size, weight, location, what you do, which external forces have an effect on you, what happens if you are not cared for properly, and other important information. You also could include a drawing of the brain part with your description.

Review Questions/Answers

  • Sample answers to these questions will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org to request sample answers.
  1. Name and describe three brain/nervous system disorders.
  2. Name three ways drugs or alcohol can affect the nervous system.
  3. Why is drug use of such concern?
  4. Describe four ways you can take care of your nervous system.
  5. List three “fun facts” you've learned about the brain and nervous system that you didn't know before you read this unit.

Activity 7-1 Report: Cortical Experiences (Student Reproducible)

1. Indicate on the picture below where you would experience

a. hearing

b. vision

c. smell

d. taste

e. touch

2. An X-ray shows that a person has a damaged area in the occipital region of the cortex. What might be the outcome of damage to this area of the brain?

3. How do you think the regions of the brain communicate with each other?

4. Think about what happens when you use language to speak or to write. Using what you know about the cortex, suggest a pathway that the nerve impulses must take in order for you to complete one of these tasks.

5. Remember that each person has a brain that is unique and can provide the basis for special talents.

a. Describe two of your special talents and indicate which parts of the brain are involved as you develop those talents.

b. What should you do to help you further develop those talents?

Activity 7-2 Report: Improving Your Memory (Student Reproducible)

1. Team list of methods for improving memory.

2. Record the memory method that you prefer.

3. Use the space below to write down the list of words from memory.

My score for number of words remembered correctly is ___________.

4. How effective was this memory method for you? Give reasons for your answer.

5. What else could you do to improve your ability to remember?

6. Give three examples for how you can use your preferred methods of improving your memory in your daily activities.

7. Summarize what you have learned from this activity.

Activity 7-3 Report: Your Nervous System in Action (Student Reproducible)

1. Describe the structure and functions of the spinal cord.

2. What would happen to you if your spinal cord were severed

a. at the neck?

b. twelve inches down from the neck?

c. at the waist?

3. You have learned that alcohol is a drug that acts on the nervous system by interfering with transmission of nerve impulses. What specific location in the brain is most affected by alcohol?

4. Select four of the following and explain what could happen if a person drinks alcohol and tries to

a. take a math test.

b. ride a bike.

c. drive a car.

d. baby-sit three young children.

e. play baseball.

f. cook a meal.

5. Scientists learn about functions of certain parts of the brain by studying brain-damaged accident victims. They observe how the damaged areas change the behavior and body functions of the patient. Use your knowledge of brain functions to predict what might happen if a person

a. had a stroke.

b. forgot to wear a bike helmet and had an accident causing damage to the right cerebral hemisphere.

c. was hit in the head between the left eye and left ear by a fast-pitched baseball.

d. neglected to fasten a car seat belt and hit his forehead on the windshield of the car.

6. Identify the areas of the brain where damage would cause

a. paralysis of the right side of the body.

b. inability to see flashes of light.

c. certain disorders affecting hearing.

7. Summary.

a. Write a letter to a younger brother or sister telling what you have learned about the brain and its functions. Include the importance of normal brain function for sustaining life. Provide some suggestions for how to care for and protect your brain and nervous system.

b. Imagine that you are a part of the nervous system, such as the cerebrum, cerebellum, hypothalamus, spinal cord, or another part of your choice. Write a description in which you include your size, weight, location, what you do, which external forces have an effect on you, what happens if you are not cared for properly, and other important information. You also could include a drawing of the brain part with your description.

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