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Summer SAVY, Session 4 Day 1, Neurobiology of Learning (7th – 8th)

Posted by on Sunday, July 7, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Hello SAVY Families! 

I am writing to you from the conclusion of our first day of The Neurobiology of Learning. Today was a fun-filled day of getting to know each other, catching up on background material, and diving into the fascinating world of neuroscience! We started out by playing my favorite icebreaker game, the snowball game.* Then, we moved into talking about cells—what are they made of, what do they do, etc. Neurons are a very specific kind of cell, so it was important that we laid the groundwork before getting more specific. We then talked about the different branches of the nervous system—central vs. peripheral, somatic vs. autonomic, sympathetic vs. parasympathetic. The class split into teams to complete an activity about the “fight or flight” sensation, which is caused by the activation of our sympathetic nervous system when we face a stressful situation.  

After lunch, we talked about all things neurotransmitters! We reviewed where they’re found, what they do, and even some disorders that are linked to the neurotransmitters. We ended the day with a fun activity—neurotransmitter bumper stickers! Everyone got to unleash their creative sides and make a catchy sign about a neurotransmitter of their choice. Overall, I was very impressed with the questions that were asked by the students, and what kinds of connections were being made. It seemed like they really enjoyed the material and had fun with the activities! 

Some ideas to ask your students about: 

  • How many nerves are in the human body? 
  • Which neurotransmitter did you choose for your bumper sticker? What did it say? What does your neurotransmitter do? 
  • What is the difference between “fight or flight” and “rest and digest”? 
  • What happens in our bodies when we touch a hot stove? 
  • *What’s the snowball game? 


Some vocabulary that might be helpful to review: 

  • Fight-or-flight
  • Afferent and efferent neurons
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Central nervous system
  • Peripheral nervous system 

 I hope that your students enjoyed their first day in our class, and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s lesson! 

Laurel Bellocchio