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Lesson Plan Title : Emergency Central Nervous System

Age Range: Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School)

Overview and Purpose: In this lesson, students will get up out of their chairs and demonstrate how the central nervous system works in an emergency.

Objective: The student will be able to explain how the central nervous system works normally and during an emergency.

Resources:

None needed

Activities:

Assign students to be different parts of the central nervous system. Clear a large area and have each student stand in the correct place for their part.

Parts needed:

Brain - top of the classroom

Nerves - runners from the fingers and toes to the spinal column

Fingers

Toes

Spinal cord - runner from the nerves to the head

Explain how the central nervous system works. Then simplify it so the students can demonstrate it: normally the nerve sends the information to the spinal cord, the spinal cord receives the information and sends it to the brain, the brain makes a decision and gives the information to the spinal cord, the spinal cord sends the information back to the nerves.

However, in an emergency, the nerves send the information to the spinal cord. It recognizes the danger and makes an instant decision. The nerves carry out that decision while the spinal cord sends the information to the brain. The brain then assesses the situation and agrees with the decision or makes a new one.

Give the students different scenarios to act out. Have the spinal cord person decide if he needs to make a decision or not. Scenarios could include: touching a hot pan, stepping on a tack on the carpet, and something brushing against your leg in the dark.

Wrap Up:

For homework, have students write a story about their day as a spinal cord. Encourage them to talk about the decisions they had to make and if those decisions were right or wrong.

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