OCEANA – Logbook – Starting with Neuroscience
After the introduction of what is the stress, we move to how the brain works. Children arrived to the question : why do we stress? It’s time to give them some basic information about the brain to see how this can be link to the cause of stress and how we can play on stress to reduce it if we understand better the brain.
We started with a question : how do we do to hold a pencil case ? I reach it with the hand. But how we do that ? What is happening? First I look at the pencil case, I decide that I want to get it and so I give the order to the hand to reach for it. We talked about the 5 senses.
Information send to neurons. What is a neuron ? They use the plush and quickly they loved it. Then, we pin tem on the blackboard so everyone can see them. Then we decide to draw our new neuron-friends. After a beautiful representation of neurons, we listen to the reading of the first chapter of the tale Mimi. We begin to talk about the electrical signal and the action potential. But it’s too much for one time, they stay with a lot of new vocabulary : dendrite, soma, axon, axonal terminal. The brain plasticity will be addressed next time to allow continue in this topic.
For the 10-11 years old : introduction of information that are exchange between neurons, each child cut a neuron from the game and put them on the wall dedicated to it, they had to respect the direction of how we can assemble them. Children that didn’t had time to put their neuron, had to do it during the week, 2 or 3 per day.
Everyone place his neuron where he want, a neuronal network emerges in a unic way but … a lot of other shape was possible, the idea of plasticity and unicity of the brain emerges.
The idea that we are unic, that neurons are working all the time, idea that fight the determinism because we are always in action and the brain is always able to perceive and treat information, we are always able to learn.
Session with 5-6 year old:
The group is really active, so we decided to change a bit the program and begin with relaxation exercises in parallel to teaching about the brain.
Starting the relaxation : to be here, foot in the floor, go up to the ankle, then the knees …
Along the exercice, children get calmed, even silent for 2 minutes.
Progressively, during the relaxation exercice, they begin to stop talking, move less and now they say during the week : “well we are not “here”, we are moving too much”
A first success.