Beacon Lesson Plan Library
You Have Nerve!
Bay District Schools
How do you know when your nose itches or when you are hurt? Did you know that body parts communicate using the nervous system to send messages to and from our brain? Students learn about the nervous system as they participate in a variety of activities.
The student understands explicit and implicit ideas and information in fourth-grade or higher texts (for example, knowing main idea or essential message, connecting important ideas with corresponding details, making inferences about information, distinguishing between significant and minor details, knowing chronological order of events).
The student reads and organizes information (for example, in outlines, timelines, graphic organizers) throughout a single source for a variety of purposes (for example, discovering models for own writing, making a report, conducting interviews, taking a test, performing a task).
The student writes notes, comments, and observations that reflect comprehension of fourth grade or higher level content and experiences from a variety of media.
The student knows that complex animals have specialized organs to carry out life processes.
The student knows the major organ systems of the human body.
The student understands the functions of various body systems.
The student knows that processes needed for life are carried out by the cells.
- Copies and transparency of the article, Total Control, from associated files (one copy per student plus the demonstration transparency)
- Copies of the implicit questions that accompany the article, Total Control (one per students)
- Transparency of the graphic, Nervous System, from the associated files
- A dictionary
- Copy of the questions that accompany the Nervous System graphic
- Transparency of the graphic organizer, Nervous System
- Student science notebooks (made on day one for this unit)
- Overhead projector
- Transparency of the model outline from the associated files
- Copy of the Formative Assessment Checklist (see the Extensions section of this lesson plan)
- Vocabulary cards from the associated files
- Vocabulary words written on sentence strip
- Copy of the instructions for the activity, The Connection
- Two copies of the Code Cards for the activity, The Connection
- Transparency of the Diagram of Student Arrangement for the activity, The Connection
- Various objects with different characteristics such as a pine needle, pointed leaf, cotton ball, nail file, something wet
1. Download, print, and duplicate copies and transparency of the article, Total Control, from associated files. You need one copy per student plus the demonstration transparency.
2. Download, print and copy the implicit questions that accompany the article, Total Control You need one copy per student.
3. Download, print, and make a transparency of the outline for the article, Total Control.
4. Download, print, and make a transparency of the graphic, Nervous System, from the associated files.
5. Download and print a copy of the questions that accompany the Nervous System graphic.
6. Locate a dictionary.
7. Download, print, and make a transparency of the graphic organizer, Nervous System.
8. Pass out the student science notebooks (made on day one for this unit).
9. Locate an overhead projector.
10. Download and copy of the Formative Assessment Checklist (see the Extensions section of this lesson plan). If you are using this lesson plan as part of the unit, The Inside Story, this Formative Assessment Checklist has been used daily.
11. Download, print, and cut apart the vocabulary cards from the associated files.
12. Write vocabulary words written on sentence strip.
13. Download and print the instructions for the activity, The Connection from the associated files.
14. Download, print, and make two copies of the Code Cards for the activity, The Connection. Cut one set apart and leave the other set intact.
15. Download, print, and make a transparency of the Diagram of Student Arrangement for the activity, The Connection from the associated files.
16. Collect various objects with different characteristics such as a pine needle, pointed leaf, cotton ball, nail file, something wet. You will need one each of about four objects with very different textures.
17. Download, print, and duplicate Summative Assessment 3, Information Managers for each student.
This lesson plan is to be used on day 11 of the unit, The Inside Story - Cells, Organs, and Systems of the Human Body. This is lesson plan ten of twelve included in the unit. This lesson plan integrates reading, writing, and science.
1. Review previous information about cells, tissue, organs, and all systems studied previously.
*Be sure to have students use their science notebooks as a reference as you ask questions about previous activities in science, reading in the content area, and writing in their science notebooks.
* Specifically, be sure to ask questions from the previous readings to reinforce the new information and to continue checking for comprehension. Use the questions supplied in previous lesson plans as your source for review.
*As you are reviewing, check for individual student’s understanding and mark the Formative Assessment Checklist that was begun on the first day of this unit. Give individualized feedback, both affirmative, “Right, kidneys filter the urea out of our blood.” and corrective, “We have to urinate several times during the day and usually have to urinate soon after we wake up in the mornings. What does this tell us about when our kidneys are working?”
2. Review the requirements of Summative Assessment #5, the body systems project, which was introduced previously. Collect any parent signed portion of the information packet not collected previously. Contact any parent who has not signed and returned the bottom portion of the information packet to be sure they are aware of the project criteria and due date.
3. Gently touch students on the hand or arm with a pine needle or pointed leaf. Ask them to explain how the touch felt. Ask what part of the body let them know how it felt. (nerves or brain) Gently touch a different student’s hand or arm with a soft object like a cotton ball or soft cloth. Ask the same questions of this student. Carefully touch a third student’s hand or arm with a rough item like a nail file or sand paper. Gently touch a different student’s hand or arm with a wet object. With each gentle touch, question students as to what they felt and how they knew. Be sure students understand that it is the nerves in their skin that feel the object and the brain that tells them what they are feeling.
4. Before students read the article, a study of the pronunciation of vocabulary words should be done. Use the dictionary as a source for finding the pronunciation of these vocabulary words: nervous, neurons, reflexes. The words and pronunciations should be written on the board for student reference while reading the article. Since comprehension of these vocabulary words should be gained from reading the article, no definition study should be done at this time.
5. As a reading activity, students silently read the article, Total Control. Before reading alert students that they are reading for the purpose of finding implicit information. Implicit means that the information is not stated in the article, but you can figure out the information from reading the article.
* This is the third day of our study of implicit questioning. If needed, examples of implicit questioning can be obtained from student written implicit questions from yesterday’s lesson.
* Today, instead of writing implicit questions, students will be answering them.
6. Pass out individual copies of the article, Total Control, and display a large projection of the article using the overhead. Allow about five minutes for students to read the article.
* As students are reading, orally praise any students who have gotten out a piece of paper and are making notes or drawing a graphic organizer.
7. After students have completed the reading, distribute the implicit questions sheet. Allow about 15 minutes for students to answer these questions.
8. Upon completion of the written answers to the implicit questions, have students orally share their answers. Dissect the question to see if it is implicit. Ask various students to respond to the statement, “Since we know . . . , it is implied that . . ."
9. Formative feedback should be given as you mark the Formative Assessment Checklist from the associated files. Use the checklist to note individual students who had problems with the content on previous days and be sure to direct specific questions to these students. Mark your checklist as to their ability to locate implicit information as well as to answer today’s questions.
* Be sure to give corrective and affirmative feedback. Corrective feedback might include responses such as, “No. Our article tells us that all impluses must go through the spinal cord! That is not implied information.” Affirmative feedback might include responses such as, ”That’s right! Since we know that our brain controls our emotions, it is implied that our brain controls when we feel afraid. The information we read about other emotions led us to imply the information to being afraid.”
10. Remind students of how they organized the science information in their science notebooks (outline, paragraph, and graphic organizer/illustration). Have students put their science notebooks on their desks. On the table of contents page, make the entry “Nervous System – page 21." Have the students turn to page 19 and looking at yesterday’s outline, review the rules of outlining.
11. Remind students that their outlines will be assessed today using the rubric from the back of their notebook. Remind students that a grade will be assigned. Students turn to page 21 of the science notebook and write their outlines independently.
* Allow about ten minutes for students to write their outlines.
* Remind student to proofread their outlines using the rubric.
14. Science notebooks are put aside, but will be used again after the activity.
15. Display the transparency, Nervous System. Ask questions from the article concerning the nervous system specifically nerves, neurons, and the brain. See the associated files for sample questions. Keep the graphic displayed throughout the remainder of the science activities to serve as a reference.
16. Display the vocabulary and definition cards. Call on a student to read a word card, and then match it to the definition that is associated with that word. Allow students to manually pair these two as they are placed on the display on the board or in a pocket chart. Continue in this manner until all vocabulary cards and definitions have been matched and displayed. The vocabulary cards are added to the unit word wall. For the word wall, you may use the printed cards from the associated files, or make ones using sentence strip. The display and size needed will dictate which method to use.
17. The Connection
This activity is best completed in the whole group setting as it better illustrates the complex arrangement of the nerves of our body. All instructions are available from the associated files.
18. At the completion of the activity, conduct individual formative assessments of the components and function of our nervous system and their role in keeping our cells alive. Give corrective and affirmative oral feedback as you are marking the Formative Assessment Checklist.
19. Students have read about the nervous system, written an outline of the information, and participated in the The Connection activity. They should be ready to complete today’s science notebook entries.
* Students write a paragraph about the new science knowledge learned today following the Florida Writes models of main idea, facts, and supporting details that you have modeled previously.
* The paragraph should contain notes about factual information, as well as comments and observations about what has been learned through today’s activities. Allow about 15 minutes for students to complete their writings. As they are writing, circulate around the room, and using the criteria from the rubric, give oral formative feedback to individuals.
* Be sure students see you using the rubric as your guide. Remind students that their paragraphs will be assessed using the rubric and a grade will be assigned.
Science/ Language Arts
22. The final activity for today’s lesson is the graphic organizer/illustration that accompanies each day’s entry in the science notebook. The purpose of the illustration is to organize information for a variety of purposes. Give the students an idea of what to draw by reminding them how they stood during the science activity today. Allow students about ten minutes to complete their illustration/graphic organizer in their science notebooks. It is important to do the paragraph writing before the graphic organizer since students may use excessive time on the illustration and not keep their focus on the writing. Doing the writing first helps students remain focused.
23. Remind students to use the rubric of criteria as a guide when proofreading their graphic organizer/illustrations. Remind students that their graphic organizers/illustrations will be assessed and a grade assigned.
24. Science notebooks should be collected at this time. With the completion of this day’s entries in the science notebook, a summative assessment should be made of the student’s entries in their notebooks using Summative Assessment 3, Information Managers. A score, guided by the rubric criteria, should be assigned. A copy of the marked rubric with the score written on it should be attached to the student’s science notebook.
25. Remind students again of the project due for Summative Assessment #5. The date due should be written on the board. Oral reminders should be given daily.
1. Formative assessments are integrated in this lesson plan and are described in the procedures section of this lesson plan. Examples of affirmative and corrective oral feedback are also given. A Formative Assessment Checklist is available from the unit's associated files.
The importance of individual formative assessment cannot be overstated. It is this formative assessment that guides teacher planning and individual assistance to assure that all students are successful.
2. Formatively assess the science notebooks using the rubric criteria. This criteria should also generate affirmative and corrective feedback which is written in the notebook. Be sure to mark the checklist for future reference.
3. The third of five summative assessments for this unit is administered upon collection of today’s science notebooks. Summative Assessment #2 and #3, Information Managers, is downloadable from the unit's associated files.
1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=2966. Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).
2. The article can be read orally to assist students with reading problems.
3. Various experiments from the Touch (Somatosensation) site can be conducted. See Weblink #2.
This Weblink may be used as a teacher reference, or for student use for enrichment. Students should not be allowed to use sites without adult supervision as the graphics of some of the body systems are not appropriate for student use at this level.This is a child oriented site with a graphic and facts about the excretory (uniary) system. The Control Center, The Nervous System
This link may be used as a teacher reference, or for student use for enrichment. Students should not be allowed to use sites without adult supervision as the graphics of some of the body systems are not appropriate for student use at this level.This site contains several simple experiments with the sense of touch and the nervous system. All of the experiments are appropriate for fourth grade students. Touch (Somatosensation)
This link may be used as a teacher reference, or for student use for enrichment. Students should not be allowed to use sites without adult supervision as the graphics of some of the body systems are not appropriate for student use at this level. This site allows students to select the body system they would like to explore. Sites contain a wealth of information, graphics, and animations. Since all systems are represented here, adult supervision is strongly advised. Inner Learning Online, The Human Anatomy Online
This link may be used as a teacher reference, or for student use for enrichment. Students should not be allowed to use sites without adult supervision as the graphics of some of the body systems are not appropriate for student use at this level.This site gives textual and graphic information about the nervous system. Adventures in Neuroanatomy: Divisions of the Nervous System
This link may be used as a teacher reference, or for student use for enrichment. Students should not be allowed to use sites without adult supervision as the graphics of some of the body systems are not appropriate for student use at this level.This is a fun, informative site for students. Brain size comparisons are graphically illustrated and various activities are linked. Cerebral Cortex, Or, My Brain is Bigger Than Your Brain
This link may be used as a teacher reference, or for student use for enrichment. Students should not be allowed to use sites without adult supervision as the graphics of some of the body systems are not appropriate for student use at this level.This site gives illustrations of the various body systems. Users select the system and are presented with various illustrations in which to name the organs. Since all systems are represented here, adult supervision is strongly advised. Be sure to preview before allowing students to explore this site. Web Anatomy
This link may be used as a teacher reference, or for student use for enrichment. Students should not be allowed to use sites without adult supervision as the graphics of some of the body systems are not appropriate for student use at this level. This is a student oriented site for learning more about the nervous system, specifically the brain. Neuroscience for Kids