"It is better to know how to learn than to know."Dr. Seuss

Activity Design: Thinking About The Brain
Designer(s): Dana Damp
Subject / Course / Grade Level: Biology Grades 9/10
Materials Needed: student access to internet
Activity Objective(s): Allow students to ask a question about the brain they are interested in and then the time , space, and resources for them to find and post an answer to their question.
Focus of Professional Practice: Students Using technology to access and share information
Targeted Elements of #lpcsd
Ability to question
Dig to find answers
Time management
Notes / Strategies for Differentiation:
  • Some students may need to see me to clarify the task and/or help them form their question
  • Others may also need help with the technology side
Summary of Activity:
Students posted a question on class wiki and then used on-line resources (also posted on wiki) to search for an answer. They posted the answer to their question on the wiki.
Tasks:Describe the main steps of the activity/lesson/project here
  • Be sure to highlight opportunities for students to practice/employ an #lpcsd lifelong learning skill
Student Work Samples:

  • Sample One:
  • Student Question - I would like to know exactly how much of our brain we use. And how much we can't access, and why we can't access this part
  • Student Answer - There is a myth that says humans only use 10% of their brains. This is just that, a myth. Furthermore, from the evolutionary aspect of human life, our brains would have no reason to develop and become larger if we only used 10% of it. Also, functional brain imaging shows that we use all parts of our brain even during sleep. All parts of the brain are constantly being used throughout the day. So this explanation takes away my other question as to why we can't use the other parts. But I now know that we use every part of our brain. I would like to know where this myth originated, and why it still sticks around?
  • Sample Two:
  • Student Question - I would like to learn how our brains change as we age.
  • Student Answer -
    Each year that passes your brain changes. From birth you are born with 100 billion neurons that you'll have for the rest of your life. In between birth and age two your brain grows rapidly. By the time you're two the brain is 80% of it's full size. From early to the middle childhood about 85% of brain development is complete between these years including: personality, intellect, motor and social skills. At these ages children learn easier and their memory is the best it will ever be. By the teenage years your brain is at it's adult weight-about three pounds. There is also an increase of activity in the frontal lobes that allow a teenager to compare several concepts at once. At age 20 the frontal lobe is responsible for judgement, planning, weighing risks and decision making finish developing. By your late 30's memory begins to slip because the amount of neurons in your brain decreases. In your 60's the brain begins to shrink in size and general knowledge begins to remember. By the late 70's and 80's the risk of Alzheimer's increase with age by 50%,by the time your age 85.
  • Sample Three:
  • Student Question - I would like to know Just how the human brain allows us to think, make us feel, move, and all other things that make it humane.
  • Student Answer -
    I couldnt exactly find anything that answered my question, but i found something that caught my eye :)
    in order to keep the brain compact enough to fit into a skull that would actually be in proportion with the rest of our body size, the brain folded in on itself as it grew
Teacher Reflections:
Students asked some great questions and learned beyond what they would have normally learned in this unit. I liked being able to see their individual responses and when they made them. Giving the students adequate time to complete the assignments was essential for them to successfully complete the task.
Tweaks, Modifications and Iterations:
The next step for this learning journey will be students reading other student responses and I will post another discussion topic/question that they will need to respond to.
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Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Next Steps DDamp DDamp 0 1 May 15, 2014 by DDamp DDamp
Questions 2 Mrs.PoulsenLP Mrs.PoulsenLP 0 2 May 15, 2014 by Mrs.PoulsenLP Mrs.PoulsenLP
Questions Mrs.PoulsenLP Mrs.PoulsenLP 0 2 May 15, 2014 by Mrs.PoulsenLP Mrs.PoulsenLP