This Is Your Brain...This is Your Brain on Fire...Any Questions?

bySharyn F. Gray
Today the idea that the brain is the central component of human function is generally understood, yet many mysteries remain, particularly for children. Fortunately, recent advances in technology are allowing us to study the brain as never before; through digital imaging techniques, scientists are able to watch the brain as it works. These techniques provide tremendous opportunities for scientists, whose discoveries in turn create implications for medical doctors, business leaders, educators, and parents - anyone, in fact, with any interest in the human condition and all of our beautiful eccentricities. Many educators and researchers are looking at how this new information can assist us in the classroom to be both better educators and learners. In reading the work of these researchers, one quickly becomes aware of a recurring theme; that is, that current US education paradigms are not providing opportunities for our young people to properly develop the minds, intelligences, and habits they will rely upon to be successful in the 21st century. Consequently, this unit was developed to help students improve their understanding of how the brain works and use "brain-compatible" learning strategies with the self-knowledge necessary to become better learners.

(Developed for Science, grade 4; recommended for Science, grades 3-6)

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