Nervous system


GRADE - 11

GOAL - The students will learn the function of the nervous system and develop habits of keeping it healthy.


  • Describe the function of the nervous system
  • Name two important organs from this system
  • Devolop healthy and injury free habits for your brain and spine

LEARNING TASKS - Write DO NOW question on the board. "How come when you play softball - you know when to raise your hand to catch the ball and also how do you know when the ball has arrived to your mitt?"

Have students share their answers. I'm sure that your students will give you responses related to your point. The point is that nervous system is the control and communication center of your body. And this center helps you to be aware what's around you and what to do next in many different situations. As you read and hear these words - your ears and eyes send messages to your brain to understand them.

These messages are called neurons. The nervous system is made up of neurons. Neurons are the language of the system.

There are three types of neurons -

  • Sensory
  • - receive information from outside world
  • Motor
  • - send messages to the muscles
  • Connecting
  • - connect sensory and motor neurons and pass information between the two

Let's look at this example. Brian is about to receive a pass from his teammate in the basketball game. The pass was complete and the ball has hit Brian's hand. Sensory neurons send message to the brain and spinal cord saying that a ball has arrived. The brain and spinal cord translates the message. Nervous system converts the message into different message saying " hold hands tight" - so the ball doesn't drop. Motor neurons travel down to the muscles to do a command "hold hands tight."

Our control and communication center is divided into two systems -
  • Central
  • - consists of brain and spinal cord
  • Peripheral
  • - consists of nerves that branch out from Central system

The spinal cord is located inside the spine. It's made up of neurons. Information from Peripheral center goes here.

Main information center of our body is the brain. The brain helps to understand information from our senses. That is the process of thinking. When the brain is thinking it is working.

The brain has three parts -

  • Cerebrum
  • - this part of the brain controls vision, touch and also thinking takes place here
  • Cerebellum
  • - this part controls balance and coordination
  • Brain stem
  • - this part controls voluntary and involuntary actions of your body

This is the interesting part. Brain stem has control over different activities that we have no control of. For example - eye pupils. Your pupils will get wider if you are in the dim light. Your pupils will get smaller if you are in the bright light.

Also, it controls digestion of the food you eat. It makes our heart beat constantly and it makes us breath continuously.

Developing healthy lifestyles regarding your control and communication center are important.

  • Balanced nutrition
  • - will keep your brain and spinal cord healthy
  • Rest
  • - will provide you with freshness
  • Avoid drugs
  • - using drugs will kill brain cells
  • Avoid alcohol
  • - drinking alcohol will kill brain cells
  • Exercise
  • - will help you keep your heart and blood vessels healthy

Following healthy lifestyle will definitely help your brain and spinal cord but it's not enough. It's important to protect brain and spinal cord from injuries. Because once they're injured - neurons cells die and they don't recover. Injury to the brain or spinal cord can cause serious problems. These problems could be paralysis or even death.

Follow these simple rules to avoid serious injuries to your head and back -

  • Wear a helmet
  • Fasten your seat belt
  • Don't lift heavy objects
  • Use common sense not to get injured

Conclusion - What is the name of control and communication center in your body? Name two structures of the system? List healthy lifestyles and simple rules to follow to avoid injuries.

This worksheet that I am including should be distributed to the students on the beginning of the class. So that when you present the information - students can follow along and fill in the answers into empty blanks. Nervous system worksheet

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