Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Explaining Electrical Conductivity in Neurons! - Section 3: Explore


        When students enter our classrooms , it is assumed that they come equipped with functional prerequisite knowledge that serves as either a primer or foundation for success in their higher level or more application based courses. Keenly aware of this fact and with the goal of accessing their prior knowledge of simple electrical circuits in mind, I, prior to students delving into their exploration activity, reviewed both the chemical basis of the Flow of Electricity through a Simple Electrical Circuit with my classes. After a "reintroduction" to the material (using the hyperlinked images), I challenged students to use the historical timeline presented on the presentation slide and images presented to predict or hypothesize how they might unveil more electrical properties of the ions discovered. As opposed to the traditionally written if, then hypothesis, I encouraged students to use the simple electrical circuit image as a template to construct an illustrative alternative to predict either a) how they could potentially test the electrical potential of chemicals proposed by previous scientists or b) predict which ions that they thought would produce a greater electrical effect. See Proposed Circuit Images Attached. The illustration assignment, an impromptu decision made as I pushed forward with the lesson was used to not only access prior knowledge of students, but used to grant them an opportunity to provide evidence that they comprehended the connection between electrical circuits and the electrical potential of these ions in the brain. This way, I could be assured that they were firm on the prerequisite knowledge that I needed for them to have a foundation for before proceeding with the introduction of this content into a greater contextual landscape of chemical activity in a neruon. 

  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Illustrative Hypothesis!
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Explaining Electrical Conductivity in Neurons!

Unit 5: Neuron Structure and Function
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: Students will plan and conduct an investigation to describe why dissolved ions are good conductors of electrical impulses in the axon of the neuron.

Big Idea: Neurons are specialized to conduct electrical impulses using varied ion concentrations.

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Science, Neuroscience, neurons
  90 minutes
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