This year the gifted specialists are teaching a unit on the brain. It has been so much fun! Students have learned about different types of intelligence, basic brain biology, neurotransmission, and how emotions, diet, sleep, and exercise affect learning and memory. To kick off National Brain Awareness Week which is March 11-17th, 2013, the gifted students will be sponsoring a huge Brain QUEST at a local mall on Saturday, March 9th. Each gifted classroom will have a different interactive exhibit. Some of the exhibits include making models of neurons, playing memory games, doing the Stroop test experiment, making optical illusions, identifying smells, and making brain hats.
One of the gifted specialists showed me the game Operation Brain Surgery by Milton Bradley which she got at a yard sale for $2.00. It was missing some of the parts, but all we were interested in was the head. We’re going to use it at the exhibit on touch. You see the head has an opening at the top which you put your hand through to feel objects which are placed inside. So, to teach about the sense of touch at our Brain QUEST exhibit, we are going to place various objects into the head and students will have to use the sense of touch to identify them. One head won’t be enough for our exhibit, so I starting researching the game online and of course I discovered it is no longer being made. So, my next step was Ebay! There I found one of the games also missing some parts, for under $10.00, so I snatched it up! I’m hoping to find one more at a great deal so we will have three for our exhibit.
I think there are all sorts of ways you could use this head in your classroom. One idea is to have a center called What’s on Your Mind? and inside you could have journal prompts such as Wondering questions, What if? questions, or Would You Rather? questions. Students could stick their hand into the head and pull out a prompt and complete it in their journals. A great idea for those early finishers.