Traumatic Brain Injury
CEN Outreach Lesson Plan
Updated March 2015
Traumatic Brain Injury
Grades 6-8
Driving Question: What are symptoms of a traumatic brain injury and how is the head
naturally designed to protect the brain?
Objectives: Students will be able to…
 Describe the role that cerebrospinal fluid has on brain anatomy and safety.
 Compare and contrast helmet use during high impact sports and activities.
 Demonstrate proper helmet fitting by explaining the “Rule of Two’s”.
 Describe symptoms of a concussion.
Next Generation Science Standards:
 MS- LS1-8 Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to
stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as
memories.
Materials:
 Egg
 Helmets
 Materials to design a helmet
Procedure:
Engage: Ask the students the following questions:
 Make a list of things that your brain is responsible for.
 How do you think your brain supported in the head?
Explore:
 Egg Drop Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Discussion
 Helmet Safety Fitting Demonstration/ Brain Injury Discussion
 Post-Traumatic Brain Injury Cranial Nerve Exam Demonstration
Explain:
 Egg (CSF) Demonstration
o Show the egg to the students, and ask them to describe the egg. What is
inside? How is the egg protected?
CEN Outreach Lesson Plan


Updated March 2015
o Think of CSF like an egg: the yolk represents the brain, the egg white is
the CSF and the shell is the skull. The CSF allows the yolk to move
around but keeps it protected within the skull.
o The shell of the egg is similar to your head in that it provides protection
for the yolk (brain) but still needs to be protected.
o What is an easy way to protect our brain? (Wear a helmet!)
o Place the egg in the plastic box with the styrofoam. Tape the egg in
securely and ask for a student volunteer to drop the egg wearing the
“helmet”.
 The egg was saved because it was wearing a helmet! If the egg
breaks or falls out, explain that helmets aren’t 100% guaranteed to
prevent injury, but they help make the injury much less than it
would be without it.
o Repeat, but place the egg in a plastic bag so it is not “wearing a helmet”
and ask a student volunteer to drop the egg.
Helmet Safety
o Helmets are specially designed for head protection. A helmet that has been
in an accident should not be used again.
o Describe activities in which we wear helmets. Are all helmets alike? How
are they different?
o If you had to redesign a helmet, how would you design it so that it is even
better at protecting the brain?
o Explain the “Rule of Two’s”
Traumatic Brain Injury
o Brain injury is more common than you think. Name a very common brain
injury (concussion). What does the word traumatic mean? How do you
know when someone has had a concussion? What are the symptoms?
o Symptoms include:
 Dizziness
 Nausea
 Fatigue
 Confusion
 Stumbling/ loss of balance
 Pupil dilation changes
 Changes in hearing
 Changes in smell
 Changes in tactile (touching) sensation
Elaborate:
 Egg (CSF) Demonstration
o The choroid plexus in your brain creates cerebrospinal fluid. It supports,
nourishes, and takes care of waste.
o Cerebrospinal fluid surrounds the brain so that it can “float” and have
shock absorption.
 Helmet Safety
CEN Outreach Lesson Plan

Updated March 2015
o Rule of Two’s: two finger width from the top of the eyebrow to the helmet
brim, two fingers between the chin and chin strap, and two fingers width
between the earlobe and corner of the two straps.
Traumatic brain injury:
o Brain injury can be anything between a minor hit to the head to a
traumatic injury. A common example of a TBI is a concussion. Students
should be able to easily relate to this due to personal experience or through
witnessing a concussion. Move on to discuss cerebrospinal fluid.
o For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/index.html
Evaluate:
 Did the CEN Outreach volunteer teach the student objectives?
 Did the CEN Outreach program reach the goals of the teacher?
 Did the CEN Outreach program reach it’s own goals/objectives?
NGSS Description:
 MS- LS1-8 Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to
stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as
memories.
Students will demonstrate MS-LS1-8 when they learn about traumatic brain injury.
Symptoms of a concussion and how the sensory receptors are affected by the concussion
are discussed.
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