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Brain Power: Grades 6-9


Activity 1: Brain Messages

Time: 45 minutes

Supplies: One large piece of butcher-block paper per group


Handouts: Neurotransmission Fact Sheet (PDF, 668KB)

This is the first activity in a series of six. These activities are all part of the Brain Power! Challenge competition. Before you begin, go over the competition details that are found on page vii of this guide.

Part 1

  • Give each group the Neurotransmission Fact Sheet. Make sure students understand the role of the brain and neurons in transmitting messages throughout the body.
  • Give each group a large sheet of butcher-block paper, pencils, and markers. Tell each group to draw the steps involved in neurotransmission. Students should be able to describe the parts of a neuron, how information exchange takes place, and how information is sent throughout the body. They should include a short written explanation of how the process works.

Part 2

  • Have groups take turns showing the steps of neurotransmission. Encourage students to ask questions in a discussion format in between the presentations.
  • Based on the clarity, information, and creativity in the groups' presentations, you will give each group a score from 0-10. These scores need to be recorded on the Group Scorecard, as each Challenge activity for the Brain Power! modules involves a similar scoring system. At the end of all the modules, the team with the most points wins the Brain Power! Challenge competition.

Activity 2: Scavenger Hunt

Time: 45 minutes

Supplies: Timer, if needed

Pen or pencil

Handouts: Neurotransmission Scavenger Hunt (PDF, 668KB)
(Page 4 in the pdf)

In this activity, students will learn about neurotransmission by using the Internet. Have students work together in groups to complete an Internet scavenger hunt.

Ideas for making this activity more suitable for a bigger class: If there are not enough computers for all groups, send groups one at a time while the rest of the class completes other activities. Use a timer to record each group's completion time.

Students should try to find the answers as quickly as possible. You can use the provided Scavenger Hunt handout or develop one of your own. The following Web site contains all the information students need to complete the scavenger hunt:

Prior to this activity, add the Internet resource listed below to the computer's Internet "Favorites" drop-down menu. faculty.washington.edu/chudler/neurok.html

Room 1(Online Version)*

Includes games and materials to supplement the information presented in the module. The room labeled "1" contains the following activities and specific information pertaining to this module:

  • Learning Objectives: these are presented at the beginning of each CD-ROM module
  • Parts of the Brain: a short film about brain parts
  • Cerebral Cortex: a short film about the cerebral cortex
  • Hemisphere Quiz: a personal quiz students can take to determine their own "dominant hemisphere"
  • Harry Human Superguy: an interactive quiz and cartoon about brain parts and functions
  • NT 101: An Introduction to Neurotransmission: this activity details the process of neurotransmission step-by-step
  • Module Quiz: this quiz is the final part of the module, intended to assess students' learning

* Adobe Flash player required to view.

This page was last updated June 2007

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NIDA. (2007, June 1). Brain Power: Grades 6-9. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/brain-power/brain-power-grades-6-9

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