The Brain

Locked Content

Unlock this lesson plan by becoming a paid member. Existing members, please log in.

Learning Goal

Students learn about the adolescent brain.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Explain several new facts they learned about teenage brain development
Learning Summary

We do not expect you to become an expert in neuroscience to teach this lesson. In fact, the purpose of this lesson is to engage students on an emotional level about the inner workings of their brain and to provide a safe space to reflect on the challenges, stigmas, and stereotypes associated with adolescence.

The lesson starts with a mindful moment in which they learn a new breathing technique following the shape of a square as they inhale and exhale. The class then has an open discussion about what they know about the brain and, specifically the adolescent brain. Then there are two options for student discovery and learning: a video or article, Using a graphic organizer, students record what they learned and have the opportunity to share out through a class discussion. Students end by reflecting in their journals.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for The Brain

For either live or recorded, start the activity by having students create their own graphic organizer as shown in the lesson plan. Then, share the video found under the activity section on the lesson plan with the class. 

As homework, have students read The Teenage Brain article from the activity and fill out the same graphic organizer.

Start out the introduction by providing students an opportunity to share what they know about the brain.

Start out the introduction by having students write down as many facts about the brain that they know.

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose.

Self-management: The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. This includes the capacities to delay gratification, manage stress, and feel motivation & agency to accomplish personal/collective goals.

Responsible decision-making: The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. This includes the capacities to consider ethical standards and safety concerns, and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being.