Of Mind and Motion: Assessing Nerve Damage in the Central Nervous System!

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Objective

To analyze a case study and diagnose the sites of nerve damage in the Central Nervous System responsible for reflex actions, conscious sensations, and voluntary movements.

Big Idea

The Central Nervous System is partitioned into distinct regions that enable the body to process & respond to physical stimuli differently and specifically. As a consequence, CNS problems can be assessed directly through these expected responses via reflexe

Introduction

Lesson Background & Justification:

         The Central Nervous System or CNS is composed of your brain, the spinal cord and the nerves.  It is a lightning fast communication system that controls every aspect of your sensation and movement. The CNS is like the software for your body, and it determines how your hardware (the muscles, bones and joints) and the nerves that interact with them in the Peripheral Nervous System or PNS performs. Some of these movements made by humans are under conscious control, and are called voluntary movements (require communication with the brain). By contrast, other movements occur without the person's conscious decision to do so. These types of movements are called involuntary movements or reflexes. In this lesson, students learn to describe and differentiate between the two sensory specific nerve pathways that produce both voluntary and involuntary movements in the body. In doing so, students will learn how to express the connection between the sensation of touch, movement and how we manage to produce a data bank of memories that govern which external stimuli that we opt to interact with in future scenarios. 

Essential Prior Knowledge: Prior to experiencing this lesson, students should be familiar with the following content/concepts:

             a) Structure and Function of Neurons  

            b) Organization/Hierarchy of organisms 

            c) Muscle organization and contraction mechanism (helpful but not mandatory)  

Lesson Preparations:

 In the effort to prepare for this lesson, I make certain that I have the following items in place: 

a) A class set of Science Take Out: Hand on Hot Stove (One kit for each pair of students). Make a class copy of the Body Diagram Page in the packet. Note: This activity can be performed if you have access to beads and wiki stix. 

b) A class set of Case Study: Wearing on Her Nerves

c) Student lab books.

d) Scissors and post it note squares for each student pair. 

Common Core and NGSS Standards:

SP2- Developing and Using Models.

W.9-10.1c- Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

RST.11-12.8- Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.

XC-CE-MS-2-Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

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. 

Standards Rationale:

       Modeling is the process by which scientists represent ideas about the natural world to each other, and then collaboratively make changes to these representations over time in response to new evidence and understandings. It is intimately connected to other scientific processes (asking questions, communicating information, etc.) and improves students ability to recall scientific jargon through association. In the classroom, it is important that teachers engage students in modeling practices, to set the foundation of success in a lesson or instructional unit. In this lesson modeling is used in concert with other science practices in the classroom to promote students’ reasoning and understanding of core science idea presented (organization of and relationships between the CNS, PNS and Muscle tissues). 

Engage

15 minutes

Section Sequence: 

       In this section of the lesson, the goal is to provide students with an opportunity to interact with a scientific text (case study in this lesson) to extract details from and to use the information obtained from said text to deductively predict the collective problem. The idea is to promote and develop a context in which students will actively become problem solvers in. The activity proceeds as follows:

a) Slide 1: Read the scenario on the slide and the corresponding question to the class aloud. Allow students to respond individually to the question while actively and verbally connecting synonymous thoughts to the group. 

b) Provide each student with page 1 of the Case Study: Wearing on Her Nerves and proceed with the remaining tasks on the slide. Instruct students to record their responses to task d in their lab books before articulating it to the class. Encourage students to provide evidence for the responses. (Eg. Why do you think it is a brain based problem? What part of the brain are you referring to?)

Common Core and NGSS Standards:

W.9-10.1c- Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

RST.11-12.8- Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.

XC-CE-MS-2-Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

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. 

Explore

40 minutes

Section Primer:

        A reflex action, differently known as a reflex, is an involuntary and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a stimulus. Scientific use of the term "reflex" refers to a behavior that is mediated via the reflex arc (involves spinal chord, sensory neurons and motor neurons) and not those enlisted through brain and body communication. In this section of the lesson, students diagram and learn to describe the reflex arc pathway and use the information to initially diagnose problems experienced by the patient in the case study. 

Section Sequence: 

 a) Slide 2: Provide student pairs with the Science Take Out Kit: Hand on Hot Stove and read the slide through part a. Once students are done, ask students to describe the reflex arc way to the class. Ascertain that students incorporate appropriate jargon and are sequencing the events properly.

b) Ask: Do you think that some of the problems that Kathy experienced are a result of problems within the reflex arc? Take general yes or no responses. Then proceed with part b. Post activity, discuss student group symptom placement decisions and encourage them to justify why. Ask are there any symptoms that aren't placed on the diagram? Instruct students to explain there reasoning. See Section B Responses for examples.

c) Slide 3: Repeat step b, but substitute the reflex arc with brain communication and voluntary or conscious movement.

Common Core and NGSS Standards:

SP2- Developing and Using Models.

W.9-10.1c- Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

RST.11-12.8- Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.

XC-CE-MS-2-Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

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. 

Explain

15 minutes

Section Sequence:

        In this section of the lesson, my goal is to provide students with a text that provides a diagnosis for the patient featured in the case study. This information coupled with an animation of  MS are presented in tandem to aid in students' comprehension of Kathy's symptoms. This section proceeds as follows: 

a) Slide 4: Provide students with page 2 of the  Case Study: Wearing on Her Nerves and proceed with steps a-b on the slide. See Section B-Explain Responses for examples. 

b) Progress to step c and play the following animation to help students visualize the internal deterioration that a person with MS suffers:

     

c) Post video, review what the job of myelin is and have students connect Kathy symptoms to specific deterioration of this part of the neuron, specifically in the CNS. (Eg. How does the minimization of myelin in the CNS impact Kathy's ability to process items with her PNS such as sensing stimuli with her skin and movement of her muscle?)

Common Core and NGSS Standards:

SP2- Developing and Using Models.

W.9-10.1c- Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

RST.11-12.8- Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.

XC-CE-MS-2-Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

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. 

Extend

25 minutes

Section Sequence:

       In this section of the lesson my goal is to present a real life case study of an MS patient who is similar in age. The goal is for students rethink their initial reactions to the engagement question and examine more complications that are paired with the condition. Ultimately, students should arrive to the conclusion that the CNS impacts more systems of the body than they probably are aware of. This activity proceeds as follows:

a) Slide 5: Read and guide students through the tasks outline on the slide. Read part C to the class before and after showing the following clip to the class:

      

Note: This activity is intended to inspire students to utilize what they know about MS and the CNS (gained from the engagement case study) to produce informed and sound predictions about physical limitations of those with MS. After students view the video and complete task C, assure through classroom conversation that they are able to support their predictions by way of the information availed to them in the earlier case study and the corresponding exploration activity. This helps for students to not only conceptualize the relationship between the two cases, but provides a more seamless feel to the lesson overall.   

Common Core and NGSS Standards:

W.9-10.1c- Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

RST.11-12.8- Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.

XC-CE-MS-2-Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems. 

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. 

Evaluate

10 minutes

Section Sequence:

a) Slide 6: Present and read slide as outlined. 

b) Assess for accuracy based on the attached student product. 

Common Core and NGSS Standards:

SP2- Developing and Using Models.

W.9-10.1c- Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

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.