- If students worked on the Brain Power! program for grades 2 and 3, they may have some knowledge of neurotransmission. For those learning about it for the first time, expect some difficulties in understanding it. Neurotransmission is a very difficult topic for elementary school students. Our goal is for the students to have a basic understanding of the process by the end of the module.
Look for the following indicators of understanding of key concepts:
- Did they have a working knowledge of the key terms learned during the mission?
- Were the students able to play the game?
- Were they able to apply what they learned to a new situation, such as developing a new way to explain this process?
Below are some additional activities that can be done after completion of the third mission. These activities are extensions to many areas of the curriculum.
- Working in pairs, have students make a comic strip explaining neurotransmission. Make sure they include information about neurons, how messages are received, and what chemicals are involved in the process.
- Have the students find out how many neurons are in the human body at different life stages. At which stage do people have the most neurons? Ask students why the number varies. The best ways for the students to find this information would be on the Internet or in library books.
Have students look in newspapers, magazines, and on the Web for information about the latest developments in brain research. What information do we have now that we didn’t have 10 or 15 years ago?
- Working in small groups, have the students make a timeline showing major findings in brain research beginning in 1900 and going to the present. They can use reference books and the Internet to complete their research. The Neuroscience for Kids Web site contains information on brain research.