The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology
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The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology

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Teacher’s Guide

Using the Student Lessons

The heart of this module is the set of five lessons that follow. These lessons are the vehicles that we hope will carry important concepts related to neurobiology and drug addiction to your students. To review the concepts in detail, refer to the chart Conceptual Flow of the Lessons.

Format of the Lessons

As you scan the lessons, you will find that each contains several major features.

At a Glance offers a convenient overview of the lesson.

Background Information provides the science content that underlies the key concepts of the lessons. The information provided here is not intended to form the basis of lectures to students. Instead, it is designed to enhance your understanding of the content so that you can more accurately facilitate class discussions, answer student questions, and provide additional examples.

In Advance provides instructions for collecting and preparing the materials required to complete the activities in the lesson.

Procedure outlines the steps for each activity in the lesson. It provides implementation suggestions and answers to questions. Within the procedure, annotations provide additional commentary.

The Lesson Organizer provides a brief summary of the lesson. It outlines procedural steps for each activity and includes icons that denote where in the activity masters, transparencies, and the Web are used. The lesson organizer is intended to be a memory aid for you to use only after you become familiar with the detailed procedures. It can be a handy resource during lesson preparation as well as during classroom instruction.

The Masters required to teach the lessons are located in a separate section at the end of the module.

Timelines for Teaching the Module

There are several ways to complete the five lessons in this module. Each timeline assumes 45 minutes of instruction per day.

The Suggested Timeline outlines the optimal plan for completing the five lessons in this module. The plan assumes you will teach the activities on consecutive days. If your class requires more time to complete the activities, discuss issues raised in this module, or complete the activities on the Web, adjust your timeline accordingly.

The Abbreviated Timeline outlines a schedule for completing the lessons in the curriculum supplement in one week. By this timeline, students skip some activities and focus on ones that convey the most important concepts. Students will miss a great deal of the richness of the unit and the details that add interest to the material, but they can still benefit from learning many new concepts.

Suggested Timeline
Timeline Activity
3 weeks ahead Reserve computers
Check performance of Web site. Bookmark URL if possible. Be sure appropriate versions of the required plug-ins are installed on the computers.
1 week ahead Make photocopies and transparencies
Gather materials
Day 1 Lesson 1
Activity 1: What Does the Brain Do?
Activity 2: Positron Emission Tomography and Brain Function
Day 2 Lesson 1 (continued)
Activity 3: Parts of the Brain
Activity 4: Who Was Phineas Gage?
Activity 5: Where Do Drugs Act?
Day 3 Lesson 2
Activity 1: Anatomy of a Neuron
Activity 2: How Do Neurons Communicate
Day 4 Lesson 2 (continued)
Activity 3: Do All Neurotransmitters Have the Same Effect?
Activity 4: One Neuron Signals Another
Day 5 Lesson 3
Activity 1: Drugs Alter Neurotransmission
Day 6 Lesson 3 (continued)
Activity 2: How Does Caffeine Affect You?
Activity 3: Routes of Administration
Day 7 Lesson 4
Activity 1: How Does Drug Abuse Begin?
Activity 2: Drug Abuse Is Voluntary; Addiction Is Compulsive
Day 8 Lesson 4 (continued)
Activity 3: When Does Abuse Become Addiction?
Activity 4: Environmental, Behavioral, and Social Influences on Drug Abuse and Addiction
Activity 5: Long-term Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction
Day 9 Lesson 5
Activity 1: Is Addiction Treatable?
Activity 2: Evaluating the Case Studies
Activity 3: Is Treatment for Drug Addiction Effective?
Activity 4: Addiction Is a Brain Disease

Abbreviated Timeline
Timeline Activity
3 weeks ahead Reserve computers
Check performance of Web site
1 week ahead Make photocopies and transparencies
Gather materials
Day 1 Lesson 1
Activity 1: What Does the Brain Do?
Activity 2: Positron Emission Tomography and Brain Function
Activity 3: Omit
Activity 4: (assign as homework) Who Was Phineas Gage?
Activity 5: Where Do Drugs Act?
Day 2 Lesson 2
Activity 1: Anatomy of a Neuron
Activity 2: How Do Neurons Communicate?
Activity 3: Omit
Activity 4: Omit
Day 3 Lesson 3
Activity 1: Drugs Alter Neurotransmission
Activity 2: Omit
Activity 3: Omit
Day 4 Lesson 4
Activity 1: How Does Drug Abuse Begin?
Activity 2: Drug Abuse Is Voluntary; Addiction Is Compulsive
Activity 3: Omit
Activity 4: (assign as homework) Environmental, Behavioral, and Social Influences on Drug Abuse and Addiction
Activity 5: (have students watch the minidocumentary independently during free time or assign Master 4.6 as homework) Long-term Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction
Day 5 Lesson 5
Activity 1: Is Addiction Treatable?
Activity 2: Evaluating the Case Studies
Activity 3: Is Treatment for Drug Addiction Effective?
Activity 4: (assign as homework) Addiction Is a Brain Disease

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