The Brain: Mysterious organ of the mind!  This week the Chartreuse Band studied that lumpy stuff between our ears. We looked at the brain as anthropologists, biologists and psychologists.


We started the week with a look at the evolutionary advantages and impacts of the human brain.  In Alice Robert’s Origins of Us: Brains,  we saw how having to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape could’ve made a larger brain advantages.   We saw how this larger brain made it possible to make better use of stone tools and work in a group.  And we saw how a bigger brain allowed for the transmission of culture to our children through learning.  


This led into a study of the anatomy and physiology of the brain.  We watched several crash course videos on the central nervous system and filled in anatomy of the brain coloring pages.  


We reenacted the nervous system and worked together to send sensory input to the brain and relay those messages back to body.  


Of course the crowning moment of the week was dissecting sheep brains!


  There is nothing like donning latex gloves and squishing some brains to really stoke curiosity.



It was really wonderful to see students using scalpels and manuals to discuss and identify structures with their peers.  I saw students drawing on all they had been learning as they poked around and drew on what they saw.  It was a true culmination of all that we have been exploring this week.


Lola, Nora, Bruno and Clementine continued dissecting and exploring long after everyone left.  They even demonstrated what they had learned to the Orange and Indigo bands who happened to be passing through.



To round out the week we had Jeremy Mintz, Phd in Psychology and good friend of mine, visit our class.  He opened our time with a question: what is the relationship between brain and mind?  We watched a Ted Talk by Iain Mcgilchrist’s called The Divided Brain.  We discussed and acted out the ways in which the specialties of each side of the brain influence us.
This exploration of the brain is going to continue into next week as we take a look at child development, intelligence and memory.