Below are some additional activities that can be used after completion of the second mission. These activities are extensions to many other areas of the curriculum.
- Make a class poster of the brain. Encourage the students to be creative and to use materials of different textures, such as felt, cotton, beads, and foam. Try to make the picture of the brain as accurate as possible. Make sure the parts are labeled.
- Play a “game show” using questions about the brain. Students can take turns being the player. The rest of the class can be the audience, which is sometimes called on during the game. (The player has the option of polling the audience, having two possible choices taken away so that it’s easier to guess correctly, or choosing a friend from the audience to help answer the question.) Make sure that everyone has a chance to be the player. Some sample questions are listed below.
The cerebral cortex is responsible for the following activities:
- All of the above
The limbic system is responsible for the following activities:
- Solving problems
- Seeing and hearing
Why is the brain stem important?
- It controls breathing and heart rate.
- It helps out with balance.
- It is responsible for problem-solving.
- It enables us to talk.
A PET scan is useful because it shows:
- The outside of the brain.
- Just the parts of the brain.
- Which parts of the brain are working.
- The colors of the brain.
Phineas Gage had an accident that made him:
- Have your students put on a class play about the brain. Different students can play different parts of the brain, while other students can act out what the different parts do. Encourage the students to let their imaginations go!
- Conduct a class brainstorming session about how we should take care of our brains. Help students understand that by taking care of our bodies - eating right, getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep, for example - we are also taking care of our brains. You might want to draw a class Venn diagram, with one side labeled “What You Should Do to Take Care of Your Brain” and the other side labeled “What You Should Do to Take Care of Your Body.” Then the students will be able to clearly see how taking care of your body means that you also are taking care of your brain.
- Have your students try to figure out this math problem: A baby’s brain weighs 1 pound. By the time a child turns 6, however, the brain has reached its full size and weighs 3 pounds. How much bigger is a full-sized brain than a baby’s brain? How long did it take to grow to full size?
- Play brain “Simon Says.” For example, you could say: “Simon says that if the left side of your brain helps with thinking, hop on one foot.” The children will enjoy moving around while learning about the different parts of the brain.