Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Teachings - How does the Brain work?

Your brain is control central of your body. It is constantly sending and receiving messages. These messages zoom to and from the brain along the super highway of nerves through out your body. Each time you get an itch or your body brushes against something a message is sent along the nerves to your brain and then your brain sends a message out to your body to react to this. If a bug lands on your left hand, a message is then sent along the arm, up the neck and to the brain. The brain then turns around and sends a message down the neck and to the right hand to swat the bug away. This may seem like a time consuming act but the messages actually travel along your nerves faster than a high speed train, even faster than Thomas the Train.

Some brain facts:
  • A thick layer of bone protects your brain. This is called your skull.
  • You are born with billions of brain cells, all that you will ever need.
  • Your brain is made up of billions of special cells called neurons.
  • A message is passed from one neuron to the next, until it reaches its destination.
  • Your brain has two halves. Your left side is the logical side and the side that you use for things like math and science. Your right side is the creative side that you use for crafts, drawing and other creative activities.
There are times that you do things with out your brain getting involved. These are called reflexes. You have probably had a doctor check your reflexes by tapping your knees and watching your leg kick out. This action did not involve the brain at all. In order for your reflexes to kick into action though you have to be very accurate in the placement. This is why sometimes your doctor has to try a couple of times before your leg kicks out.

There are sections of your brain that are focused on just one activity. One area controls all of your speech, another area controls all of your movements. One area controls your heartbeat. Each section has an assigned job to perform.

As you can see from the pictures enclosed on this posting, it is not hard to make a brain from clay or play-doh. Ours is done in all skin tone colors but you can make one with any colors you may have on hand. A great activity would be to use different colors for the different parts of the brain or use different colors for the different actions the brain controls.

Another way to teach kids about their brain is to have them memorize something. You will want this to be based on the age of the child. Do not discourage the child by having them try to memorize something that is too hard or easy for their age. I have included some samples below.

Babies: Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake bakers man!
              Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
              Pat it and prick it
              And mark it with a (child's initial)
             And put it in the oven for (child's name) and me!

Preschoolers: You are my sunshine,
                       My only sunshine.
                       You make me happy when skies are gray.
                       You'll never know, dear, How much I love you.
                       Please don't take my sunshine away.

Elementary:  I started as a tiny egg
                     Upon a leaf of green
                     And now I stay upon the leaf
                     So I will not be seen
                     Soon I'll build a chrysalis
                     Upon a limb up high
                     I'll stay a while and then come out
                    And be a butterfly .

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