B3.1 Coordination and control – the nervous system
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B3.1 Coordination and control - the nervous system
B3.1a describe the structure of the nervous system to include CNS, sensory and motor neurones and sensory receptors
B3.1b explain how the components of the nervous system can produce a coordinated response to include it goes to all parts of the body, has many links, has different sensory receptors and is able to coordinate responses
B3.1c explain how the structure of a reflex arc is related to its function
A way to introduce the nervous system or even the endocrine system is to show it working well and to discuss what happens when it does not work well. Show learners a video from YouTube, which has something, which will unexpectedly scare them. Question learners why they reacted the way they did and what they think might be happening in their bodies for them to react the way they did. This can then lead to the explanation of the coordinated response (B3.1 a,b,c).
A kinaesthetic activity could be to model a synapse. Get learners to make two lines holding hands (e.g. a line of girls and a line of boys). Ensure that the gap between the end of the first line and the beginning of the second line is about 1 m. Get both lines to practice a Mexican wave. Tell the person at the start of the first line to hold out their hand. When you drop a penny into their hand he must start the Mexican wave. Secretly tell the person at the other end of the line that when he gets the signal he has to remove the lid from a perfume bottle. Let the person at the end of line 2 closest to the first line that they must start the Mexican wave when they get a ‘signal’/wave when something odd happens. Get them all to close their eyes, but reassure them know that there will be no shocks or surprises. Discuss the model.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have
Learners may find it difficult to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary actions. Get learners in pairs and provide them with a list of actions, which they must distinguish as voluntary or involuntary. When getting results from learners use it as an opportunity for class discussion.
Learners struggle to understand how the ciliary muscles and suspensory ligaments change the shape of the lens. Giving learners clear explanations and extra time will help them. The BBC video focuses on just this to help learners.
Learners may find it difficult to remember the structure of the brain. Get them in to groups of 4 and get them to come up to see a labelled picture. The first person of the group has a minute then take it back to the group to draw their own diagram. The next team member goes up for 45 seconds then 30 and finally 15. Each member completes the picture. A good diagram can be found on the Macmillan website. Click on ‘show more’ to see diagram.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set students up for topics later in the course
The knowledge and understanding of ‘The nervous system’ is ideal before beginning topics such as ‘The endocrine system’ and ‘Maintaining internal environments’.
Approaches to teaching the content
Almost 2 million people in the UK live with sight loss and this number is just increasing. The Learners can take the opportunity to explore the medical field and look into certain illnesses related to the nervous system/eyes. Learners may wish to take the role as GPs and follow the three situations in learning resource.
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