Day 2: Introduction to Neurobiology

Lesson #2 focuses on introducing students to cells and neurons, laying the foundation for the following lesson on the biological basis of memory.

Goals: to start exploring the world of cells and neurons.

Guide and resources below:


  • I would recommend that you open class with a team-/community-building activity rather than the TedTalk discussion to try to develop trust and relationships early on.
  • The fMRI video is a bit long, so feel free to cut it or off your own, more concise explanation about what MRIs measure – brain activity.
  • If you plan on teaching this lesson and the following lesson, I would urge you to think critically about the capabilities of your students and what you want them to take away from the lessons. Do you want them to walk about with a conceptual understanding of how reflex arcs work or do you just want your students to develop a curiosity in neuroscience? Last note: from my experience, 9th and 10th graders can probably understand most components of depolarization and reflex arcs if you go slowly; 8th graders and younger seem to really struggle with this depth of information.
  • Feel free to use the vocabulary sheet organizer attached here if you think it would be beneficial for your students (and feel free to customize it!).

Comment with your thoughts and questions below.

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