Depression Tool Kit
Lesson One  
Lesson Two  
Lesson Three  
Lesson Four  
Lesson Five  
UAMS Lesson Plan
  Teachers Guide
  Enrichment Activity
  Student Handbook
Lesson Six  
Lesson Seven  
Lesson Eight  
Appendix  
  Dept. Homepage  
  UAMS Home

 


Lesson 5 | Enrichment Activities

Neurons and Neurontransmitters


Learning Neuron Parts

Student Objectives:

■ Describe normal functioning of neurons and neurotransmitters.

■ Identify and label the parts of a neuron.

Estimated time: One 30-minute class period.

Materials:
Give each student a diagram of a neuron without labels.

Directions:
Divide students into study groups of four and allow them to use their notes to label the neuron parts: axon, dendrite, synapse, synaptic gap or synaptic cleft, pre- and post-synaptic membranes, synaptic vesicles, terminal buttons, reuptake pump, receptors/receptor sites.

Model Building

Student Objectives:

■ Describe normal functioning of neurons and neurotransmitters.

■ Identify and label the parts of a neuron.

Estimated time: One 50-minute class period.

To prepare students: Talk to entire class about various approaches to project to generate creativity and enthusiasm, and then break into small groups.
Materials: wire, paper, play dough or polymer clay that can be baked in a kitchen oven.

Directions:
■ Small study groups will plan and build a three-dimensional display of a neuron to be used in the classroom.

■ Each group will then present its display to the class, discuss their work and identify the neuron parts.

■ Allow plenty of class time to brainstorm and build classroom displays.

Students as Neuron Model

Student Objectives:

■ Describe normal functioning of neurons and neurotransmitters.

■ Identify and label the parts of a neuron.

Estimated time: 30-minute class period.

Materials: Yarn, safety pins or tape, notebook paper.

Directions:

■ Give every student a “role” as a part of a neuron (axon, dendrite, synapse, synaptic gap or synaptic cleft, synaptic vesicles, terminal buttons, reuptake pump, receptors/receptor sites) so that the class as a whole can comprise a neuron.

■ Each student should write the name of his or her part on a sheet of notebook paper to serve as a label and attach to clothing.

■ Yarn can serve as connectors between the various parts of the neuron. The role of the teacher will be to arrange all the students so that together they form a “neuron” of inter-connected parts.

■ Consider adding a second neuron model so that students can act out the process of
neurotransmission between two neurons.

Additional Activities

■ Divide the class into groups. Assign test items to each of the groups, which will be responsible for researching the answers and gathering interesting information related to the items. Findings will be presented to the entire class. As reference, students will use the student handout and each group will receive a copy of the teacher’s guide. Encourage Internet research.

■ View web tutorials and animations on the neurotransmission process:
Animated neural processes tutorial
http://psych.hanover.edu/Krantz/neurotut.html

Neuroscience for kids website
http://www.soton.ac.uk/~jrc3/chudler/neurok.html

National Institute of Mental Health’s “The Brain’s Inner Workings” CD video: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/braincd.cfm

PBS “The Secret Life of the Brain” 3-D tour of the brain http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/3d/index.html

Emotions and the Brain: The Limbic System, the Center of Emotions
http://www.epub.org.br/cm/home_i.htm.

Brain power
www.pacsci.org/education/sow/brainpower/home.html
A wonderful traveling outreach program designed for students in grades 5-8 (but also appropriate for high school kids) that explores the physical, sensory and behavioral brain, the biology of drug dependency and the effects drugs have on the brain. Developed by the Pacific Science Center and the Group Health Cooperative.

Sponsored by the UAMS College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry’s Partners in Behavioral Health Sciences program which is made possible by support from a Science Education Partnership Award (R25 RR15976) from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.