When students learn about how their brains work and develop, research reveals that they are motivated and work harder, showing improvements in learning mathematics. When you go to www.pbsteachers.org, the PBS site for teachers, and search “the brain,” you’ll find lesson plans such as the following to motivate students to use their brains:
The Wonder Pill: Placebo – 1: (Grades 3-5, 6-8) From awarding-winning PBS science series Scientific American Frontiers, this lesson allows students to investigate how the brain can be fooled into incorrectly processing sensory information. They’ll conduct an experiment to fool someone into thinking they’ve touched his or her hand in a bizarre illusion that thoroughly confuses the brain.
Mysteries of the Senses – Smell (Grades 6-8, 9-12) In this activity from PBS NOVA, students can understand how the sense of smell has strong connection to the limbic region of the brain and experience how the brain associates smells with memories and emotions.
How Alzheimers Affects the Brain (Grades 9-12) is one of three lessons on a disease that students are likely to know something about. This lesson introduces students to the ways in which Alzheimer’s disease damages the brain. They’ll see visual examples of how brain changes affect behavior and how damage to neurons and neural connections progress.