Brain Development 101

How well a brain develops depends on many factors in addition to genes, such as:

  • Proper nutrition, starting in pregnancy
  • Exposure to toxins or infections
  • The child’s experiences with other people and the world

(CDC, 2021)

Children are born ready to learn and have many skills to learn and grow to lead successful and meaningful lives. They depend on parents, family members, and other caregivers as their first teachers to develop the right skills and to model good behavior. In this SEL lesson, we'll have students and staff explore the basics of brain development and how the brain works in their every day lives.

Elementary Lesson – Neuron Galaxy Read-Along

Watch video below with your students.

Instructions:

  1. After watching the video, have students name three important facts/takeways about neurons from the video. 
  2. Define the following words together as a group: brain, neuron, and axon

Secondary Lesson – How Brains Are Built

Watch video below with your students.

Instructions:

  1. Ask the students, "What have you learned about how a child’s brain is developed?"
  2. Have the students write a 4-5 sentence paragraph or draw a picture about how a child’s brain is developed. Ask a few students to share to the class to encourage engagement and sharing.