Video Writing Prompt: New Technologies to Explore the Brain

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The human brain has over 100 billion nerve cells - it is the most complex organ in the human body. Scientists spend a great deal of time studying the human brain and, while they have discovered a lot, they have yet to fully master and understand this remarkable organ. Understanding the connection between brain cells, behavior and disease is important and scientists have developed a variety of new techniques that will help them map brain activity.

This Video Writing Prompt explores three of those techniques and briefly introduces students to the wonders of neuroscience. After viewing the video, have students complete the following exercises, designed to challenge both the left and right brain.

Grades K-2: Draw it

Have students draw a picture of a scientist examining a brain. Ask them to explain out loud what is happening in the scene they just drew.

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Grades 3-5: Role Play

Ask students to imagine that they are scientists, then have them write a paragraph describing the one experiment they would conduct on the brain. Make sure the paragraph explains:

  • Why they want to conduct the experiment, and
  • What they expect will happen during their tests.

Grades 6-8: Prepare Your Arguments

In the video, students will see images of laboratory tests being conducted on mice. Have students write a one-page essay that answers the following questions:

  • Are you 'for' or 'against' scientific tests on animals?
  • If scientists were not able to test on animals, how would they conduct their experiments?
  • Are there any instances when you would support animal testing?