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Brain Power: Grades K-1

Procedures/Discussion Questions


  1. Begin the lesson by reviewing with students their ideas about scientists, which they discussed during Module 1. Take a second look at the pictures they drew in Module 1 and go over the list of characteristics of scientists that they developed.
  2. To learn more about scientists and the work they do, tell the students that they are going to watch a video about the research of a few scientists. After watching the video, they will work on their first mission with the Brain Power! Club. The goal of the mission is to help students understand the work of these scientists and the process of scientific inquiry.
  3. As a class, watch the section of the video about scientists, then turn off the tape and show students the pieces of poster board you prepared with the steps of scientific inquiry. Then, go over with the class what these steps mean; they are defined below:
    • Observe - Take note of a particular situation and check key aspects of it, such as what something looks like, feels like, smells like, and other salient characteristics. For a researcher, this might be studying problems in the world.
    • Predict - Develop an idea about why a problem exists or an explanation of a particular phenomenon.
    • Experiment - Conduct investigations to try to solve the problem or explain the phenomenon.
    • Conclude - Summarize what was learned from the experiment.
  4. Make a chart that lists the scientists in the video and the work they do. Discuss with your students how the scientists in the video used the different steps of scientific inquiry. How are the scientists’ research programs similar? How are they different?
  5. If time allows, have each child in the class fill out the resume form (PDF, 48KB) (included in the back of this module of the Teacher’s Guide) as though he or she wants to be a scientist. Have them answer each of the questions on the form, in pictures or in words, about what kind of research he or she would like to do.
  6. To conclude the mission, ask students what one thing all the researchers in the video have in common. Help them realize that all the scientists are studying the brain. Then, tell students that during the next mission, they, too, will be learning about the brain and how it works.
  7. Tell students to give themselves a round of applause. They have just completed the second mission of the NIDA Brain Power!Program.

Discussion Questions

  1. Go over the work of the scientists shown in the video. Make sure students understand what field the scientists are in, what they study, how they are solving their research problems, and that research is an ongoing venture that continually yields new questions and solutions.
  2. Ask students what they know about the brain and what it does. Write down their ideas on a piece of newsprint. You may want to refer to it during the next module, when students focus on the brain.

This page was last updated September 2009

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NIDA. (2009, September 1). Brain Power: Grades K-1. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/brain-power/brain-power-grades-k-1

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Brain Power Video Modules: Grades K-1

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