<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1; url=/nojavascript/"> Activities and Answer Keys | CK-12 Foundation
Dismiss
Skip Navigation

Activity 2-1: Big Brain on a Stick

PLAN

Summary Students build a model of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to learn how the different parts relate to each other. Building the model provides the opportunity for students to visualize the main structures of the central nervous system and think about how the different parts communicate with one another. Students will continue to use their “Brain on a Stick” model as a reference throughout the unit.

Objectives

Students:

\checkmark locate the major parts of the brain.

\checkmark demonstrate and explain the importance of protecting the brain from injury.

Student Materials

  • Resource
  • Activity Report
  • Illustration of brain and spinal cord
  • Soft wood, such as pine or fir:

a. 2 pieces, 8'' \times 5'' \times 2'' (for cerebral hemispheres)

b. 1 piece, 2 \ \frac{1}{2}'' \times 2'' \times 1'' (for hypothalamus and thalamus)

c. 1 piece, 1 \ \frac{1}{2}'' \times 1'' \times 20'' (for spinal cord)

d. 1 piece, 2'' \times 2'' \times 4'' (for cerebellum)

(If possible, use a different type/color of wood for A-D, to help students distinguish the different parts of the completed model.)

  • Template indicating shapes of parts of nervous system
  • Saws and sandpaper
  • Safety goggles
  • Glue and/or nut-bolt assembly
  • Paper
  • \frac{3}{4}'' masking tape
  • Colored pencils
  • Black marker, fine point
  • Bike helmet (optional)

Teacher Materials

  • A completed “Big Brain on a Stick” model is useful in helping students visualize the end product as they prepare and assemble the “Big Brain on a Stick” model.
  • Bike helmet, different styles if possible
  • Additional anatomy/physiology texts or a CD-ROM and charts showing brain structure and function.
  • Activity Report Answer Key

Advance Preparation

Allow sufficient time for advance construction of the model parts. Invite others to help prepare model parts. An industrial arts teacher, older students, a scout troop, parents, and/or a lumberyard could help with the preparation of models. The description on the Resource can be given to the person(s) who will prepare model parts. If it is impossible to make multiple models, it is strongly recommended that one model be made for demonstration purposes. Construct a model as a class or student project. Models can be retained for future use.

Estimated Time

Time will vary depending on whether brain model parts are precut-one to two 50-minute class periods, or model parts are not precut-two to four 50-minute class periods.

Helpful Hints

Bolt Parts A1 and A2 (Left and Right hemispheres) through Part B(Thalamus and Hypothalamus) so they can be detached.

Use the “Big Brain on a Stick” model as a reference throughout this unit and any drug education studies.

Use the “Big Brain on a Stick” model as a reference in the Breathing unit to show where breathing (pons/medulla) and temperature (hypothalamus) are controlled.

Encourage students to make their own replica of the wooden model using clay or paper, in either full scale or reduced scale.

Students can use their “Big Brain on a Stick” models to evaluate different helmets used in their community and relate their designs to areas of the brain protected and the effectiveness of that protection, giving reasons for their conclusions.

Students can conduct community surveys to find out more about bike helmets such as what types of bike helmets are available, their comparative costs, and numbers of people who use helmets. They can share these results using posters, graphs, and class presentations.

Interdisciplinary Connections

Visual or Industrial Arts Plan, prepare, and assemble wooden models for use in science classes.

Math Prepare model patterns by marking cutting lines for the art or industrial arts classes.

Physical Education Discuss use of bike and sports helmets.

Physical Science Discuss mass, forces, and acceleration in physical science.

Prerequisites and Background Information

None required

IMPLEMENT

Introduce Activity 2-1 by reviewing the relationship of brain to spinal cord, using a sample “Big Brain on A Stick.”

Steps 1- 2 Set out materials for student lab groups, depending upon how students will use the parts: materials to construct and make the models or previously assembled models. The amount of materials required for models (Resource) will depend upon how many models will be assembled in the classroom.

Step 3 Students also can color-code brain regions.

Step 4 Have students complete the Activity Report and label the parts of the brain.

ASSESS

Use the model of the brain and the written responses to the Activity Report to assess if students can

\checkmark locate the major parts of the brain (cerebrum, cerebellum, medulla, thalamus, and hypothalamus) and the spinal cord.

\checkmark demonstrate and explain the importance of protecting the brain from blows and subsequent damage.

Activity 2-1: Big Brain on a Stick – 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. On your drawing of the central nervous system, label and color the cerebrum, cerebellum, medulla, thalamus, hypothalamus, and spinal cord. A. Hypothalamus B. Cerebrum C. Thalamus D. Cerebellum E. Spinal cord F. Medulla Now that you have completed your model, you can use it throughout the unit to show how the brain and nervous system function together to coordinate your body's activities.
  2. Look carefully at your model. Hold it up next to your lab partner to see where each part fits on the body.
  3. If a bike helmet is available, place it on your “Brain on a Stick” model. What purpose does the helmet serve? Explain.
  4. Make a sketch of your model wearing a bike helmet. Describe why you think this particular helmet is safe or not.
  5. Now you can write a paragraph in which you give several reasons why a person should protect the brain by wearing a bike helmet.
  6. Think of some ways in which you can use your “Brain on a Stick” model. Describe those uses.

Memories What is your earliest memory? Describe the memory and pay close attention to the role your senses play in this memory. For example, can you smell or hear or see something as part of the memory? Why do you think this memory has stuck with you for so long?

Helpful Hints

Make a fist with your right hand, thumb over your fingertips. As you view your fist your knuckles will be to your right and your thumb to your left. Your hand and fingers represent the cerebrum. The thumb represents the cerebellum. The area of your hand just above your wrist represents the medulla. Your wrist and arm represent the spinal cord.

Brain on Your Hand Students use their fists as a model of a brain, labeling the parts of the brain on their hand. They explain to at least three people what the parts are and what they do.

What Do You Think?

How do you think the cerebral cortex could control our behavior? How do you think the cerebral cortex could control o personalities? How do all those cells make us what we are? What is intelligence?

Activity 2-2: Thinking Cap

PLAN

Summary Students design and label a paper model to help them learn about the functions of the different regions of the brain. Students use the thinking cap when locating where organs, such as the eyes and the ears have nerve connections in the brain.

Objectives

Students:

\checkmark identify and describe the major regions of the brain (cerebrum, cerebellum, and medulla).

\checkmark describe the regions of the cerebrum (frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes).

Student Materials

  • Resource
  • Activity Report
  • Large paper grocery bag; Scissors; Transparent tape; Colored pencils and/or marking pens; Clear plastic wrap; Mirror

Teacher Materials

  • Activity Report Answer Key
  • Extra supply of student materials

Helpful Hints

  • If grocery bags have advertisements/ writing on the outside, have students turn them inside out and do their marking on the unprinted side.
  • To save time, have student helpers complete some precutting of bags before class.
  • As another option, have a demonstration model of the “Brain on a stick” for students to use during this activity.
  • Butcher paper or construction paper can be substituted for a paper bag.
  • A large mirror is not required but is recommended so students can observe themselves wearing their “Thinking Caps.”

Advance Preparation

Collect large paper grocery bags, one per student. Large grocery bags can often be obtained or purchased inexpensively from the supermarket.

Estimated Time

Approximately two to three 50-minute class periods

Interdisciplinary Connections

Math Measure and mark paper bags for cutting in math class.

Visual Arts After brain parts have been drawn and labeled, students can color in and embellish diagrams in art classes.

Prerequisites and Background Information

Students need to that left and right are referenced to the part of the brain being studied, not students' left and right.

Students should have completed Activity 2-1: Big Brain on a Stick.

Helpful Hints

  • In Completing item #4 of the Activity Report, give your students some cues(e.g, names, shape, size and location in the body.)
  • As an optional activity, consider the game “Musical Brains.” As music plays, students point to different regions of the brain on the “Thinking Cap.” When the music stops, students name the region of the brain on which their fingers rest and tell what it does.
  • If students have already completed Activity 2-1: Big Brain on a Stick, they can place their paper model on the wooden model to help them visualize the boundaries of brain parts and regions. Have students write in the names of brain parts and regions of the cerebrum on the wooden model. Be sure to follow up these activities with Activity 7-1: Cortical Experiences and Activity 7-3: Your Nervous System in Action.

IMPLEMENT

Introduce Activity 2-2 by reviewing the different parts of the brain.

Step 1 It may be helpful to prepare a sample Thinking Cap to use as a reference after students complete the activity. Or you may find it helpful to have some students do this activity ahead of time so they can help other students.

Steps 2-6 Stress safety precautions necessary for using pencils and scissors to construct the model, especially when the bag is covering the head. Caution students to be sure they can see properly through the holes they have cut when they are moving around with bags on their head.

ASSESS

Use the construction and proper labeling of the “Thinking Cap” and the written responses to the Activity Report to assess if students can

\checkmark construct a model of a “Thinking Cap” to represent the brain.

\checkmark label and describe the major regions of the brain (cerebrum cerebellum, and medulla) as well as the spinal cord.

\checkmark locate the regions of the cerebrum (frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes).

Activity 2-2: Thinking Cap – 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. For the drawing of the brain below, color-code the parts of the brain. Label cerebrum, cerebellum, medulla, and spinal cord. In addition, label left, right, top, bottom, front and back.
  2. On the following drawing of a cerebral hemisphere, color-code the regions of the cerebrum: frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes.
  3. What are the functions of the brain regions recorded on your paper bag model of the “Thinking Cap”?
  4. How do the meninges help protect the brain? Describe meningitis is and its effects on brain functions.
  5. Communicate what you have learned about the brain to someone else. You may wish to write a letter, create a poem, draw some pictures, have a conversation, use the computer, or use another method approved by your teacher.
  6. How does this description of the brain and its functions differ from your thoughts about the brain before you started this activity?

A suggested response will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org.

What might you guess is the difference between a species of mammal that has a large temporal cortex compared to one with a large occipital cortex?

What Do You Think?

The cerebral cortices of other mammals are smaller and less complex than ours are. Do you think animals have feelings? Do they think? Do you think some animals, such as dolphins and chimpanzees, are intelligent? Explain.

What Do You Think?

Technology has made it possible to keep people's hearts and lungs alive even when their brains are dead. When do you think a person is really dead? When he or she stops breathing? When the heart stops beating? When the brain stops functioning?

What parts of the brain do you think are essential when a person dances?

Imagine you are a doctor. Patient A comes to you and says that he is “seeing stars.” What part of the brain would you investigate? Patient B comes to you and says that she smells strange smells everywhere she goes. What part of the brain would you investigate?

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. What part of the brain is responsible fer thinking?
  2. Describe four major parts of the brain and explain what they do.
  3. If a surgeon stimulated the neurons for your big toe in the right sensory cortex, what would happen? Why? What if the surgeon stimulated “toe” neurons in your right frontal cortex?
  4. Describe several methods scientists use to learn how the brain works.

Activity 2-1 Resource: Big Brain on a Stick (Student Reproducible)

Directions for making the parts to build your “Big Brain on a Stick”

Soft wood, such as pine or fir:

a. 2 pieces: 8'' \times 5'' \times 2'' (for cerebral hemispheres)

b. 1 piece: 2 \ \frac{1}{2}'' \times 2'' \times 1'' (for hypothalamus and thalamus)

c. 1 piece 1 \ \frac{1}{2}'' \times 1'' \times 20'' (for medulla and spinal cord)

d. 1 piece 2'' \times 2'' \times  4'' (for cerebellum)

If possible, use a different type/color of wood for A-D, to help students distinguish the different parts of the completed model.

Template indicating shapes of parts of nervous system

Saws and sandpaper

Safety goggles

Remember to consider how parts will be secured. If the model is to be reused, fastening devices can be included (e.g., wooden pegs, Velcro, or other means.)

a. Cerebral hemispheres (two: one right hemisphere and one left hemisphere)

Use two pieces of wood, 8'' \times 5'' \times 2''.

Be sure you end up with a right and a left hemisphere.

b. Hypothalamus and Thalamus

Find the piece of wood that is 2 \ \frac{1}{2}'' \times 2'' \times 1''. It does not need to be cut any more.

This piece is the upper brain stem and will represent the hypothalamus and the thalamus. In the completed model, it will separate the two cerebral hemispheres.

c. Medulla and Spinal Cord

The long piece of wood (1 \ \frac{1}{2}'' \times 1'' \times 20'') becomes the medulla and spinal cord in this model. It does not need to be cut any more.

d. Cerebellum

The last piece of wood (2'' \times 2'' \times 4'') will represent the cerebellum. Cut this piece to taper both ends, about 1 \ \frac{1}{2}'' from either end, as shown in the diagram below.

Directions for assembly of parts

a. Glue B (Thalamus and Hypothalamus) onto the inside of part A1, (right cerebral hemisphere). Let dry. Tell your teacher if your model does not agree with Figure 2.5.

Figure 2.5 Assembly diagrams for parts A and B

b. Now glue C (medulla and spinal cord) onto the bottom of piece B (thalamus and hypothalamus). Let the glue dry. Tell your teacher if your model does not agree with Figure 2.6.

Figure 2.6 Assembly diagrams for parts A, B, and C

c. Glue piece A2 (left cerebral hemisphere) like a sandwich on top of piece B (thalamus and hypothalamus), just opposite piece A1 (right cerebral hemisphere). Tell your teacher if your model does not agree with Figure 2.7.

Figure 2.7

d. Now glue D (cerebellum) onto the back of the spinal cord, as shown in Figure 2.8.

Figure 2.8

e. Finally, use a fine-point black marking pen to label (on masking tape) your model as indicated in Figure 2.9.

Figure 2.9

f. Ask the teacher how to identify your model (e.g., name of the lab group).

Activity 2-1 Report: Big Brain on a Stick (Student Reproducible)

1. On your drawing of the central nervous system, label and color the cerebrum, cerebellum, medulla, thalamus, hypothalamus, and spinal cord. Indicate parts below.

A. ___________________

B. ___________________

C. ___________________

D. ___________________

E. ___________________

F. ___________________

Now that you have completed your model, you can use it throughout the unit to show how the brain and nervous system function together to coordinate your body's activities.

2. Look carefully at your model. Hold it up to your lab partner to see where each part fits on the body.

3. If a bike helmet is available, place it on your “Brain on a Stick” model. What function does the helmet serve? Explain.

4. Make a sketch of your model wearing a bike helmet. Describe why you think this particular helmet is safe or not.

If you have time, try different styles of bike helmets on your model and see which one appears to give the best protection. Share this information with your class.

5. Now you can write a paragraph in which you give several reasons why a person should protect the brain by wearing a bike helmet.

6. Think of some ways in which you can use your “Brain on a Stick” model. Describe those uses.

Activity 2-2 Resource: Thinking Cap (Student Reproducible)

In this activity, you use a paper bag to design a map of the brain. Your finished “Thinking Cap ” is a representation of the different regions of the brain.

1. Cut the bag so it will fit your head.

  • Measure the distance from the top of your head to the bottom of your ear.
  • Now use a ruler to mark a line around the front and two sides of the bag as indicated in Figure 1.

Figure 1

2. Taking care not to cut the back side, cut along the dashed cutting line you have marked, leaving the back flap long. when finished cutting, your bag should like Figure 2.

Figure 2

3. Put the bag over your head.

  • Use your finger to locate on the bag where your eyes should be.
  • Keeping your finger at these spots, remove the bag. Use a pencil to lightly mark these spots, labeling them A and B, and cut openings in the bag to represent the location of your eyes. Be sure to make them large enough so you can see when the bag is on your head.

Figure 3

4. Try the bag on to see how it fits.

  • Put the bag back on your head so that the eyeholes fit over the eyes.
  • Have your partner mark where your head ends on the top of the bag.
  • Label this line “C”
  • Cut the folds along the dashed cutting lines in the back up to the corners and along the top fold to line C
  • DO NOT cut line C.
  • Fold the back flap down on line C (Figure 4).
  • Cut, or fold in, any extra paper from each side (shaded area, Figure 5)
  • The back flap should be hanging loosely, attached only by line C (Figure 5),

Figure 4

5. If no further adjustments are needed, flatten out the bag as illustrated below by cutting the two folds on each side of the eye holes (Figure 6).

Figure 5

6. Use Figure 7 to outline the boundaries of the brain parts on the flattened bag (“Thinking Cap”). Be sure to select the side of the bag without advertising (or use the unmarked inside of the bag). Then write the names of the brain parts and regions of the cerebrum as indicated in Figure 7.

Figure 6

7. Follow the directions of your teacher for any further tasks (e.g., labeling parts of the brain and clean up).

Figure 7 Illustration/template for paper bag model-boundaries of brain parts: top view.

Activity 2-2 Report: Thinking Cap (Student Reproducible)

1. For the drawing of the brain below, color-code the parts of the brain. Label cerebrum, cerebellum, medulla, and spinal cord. In addition, label left, right, top, bottom, front, and back.

2. On the following drawing, color-code the regions of the cerebrum frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes.

3. What are the functions of the brain regions recorded on your paper bag model of the “Thinking Cap”?

4. How do the meninges help to protect the brain? Describe meningitis and its effects on brain functions.

5. Communicate what you have learned about the brain to some else. you may wish to write a letter, create a poem, draw some pictures, have a conversation, use the computer, or use another method approved by your teacher.

6. How does this description of the brain and its functions differ from your thoughts about the brain before you started this activity?

Image Attributions

Description

Authors:

Grades:

6 , 7 , 8

Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
You can only attach files to None which belong to you
If you would like to associate files with this None, please make a copy first.

Reviews

Please wait...
Please wait...
Image Detail
Sizes: Medium | Original
 
CK.SCI.ENG.TE.1.Human-Biology-Nervous-System.3.3

Original text