Teaching Tool - Protect Your Head

This presentation teaches students about brain health and safety related to road and off-road activities.

Target audience: students in Grades 4 to 6
Length of core content presentation: 50 minutes

Criteria Met

Grade Ontario Curriculum Codes
4 Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2015) 1.5, A3.2, C2.2
5 Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2015) 1.5, A3.2, C2.2
5 Grades 1-8: Science and Technology (2007) 1.2
6 Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2015) 1.5, C3.2

Goals

In delivering this presentation, the teacher will:

  • Emphasize the importance of preventing head injuries
  • Provide students with information on concussions, safety rules, and protective equipment
  • Encourage students to reflect on their safety on and off the road

Objectives

By the end of this presentation, students will demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Concussions, recalling symptoms, effects and treatment
  • Injury prevention practices, explaining safety rules and proper use of protective equipment
  • Road safety, correctly identifying road signs and hand signals, and explaining their meaning

Core Knowledge Content

Core knowledge content provides the teacher with the background information needed to prepare and teach this health class.

Learning Activities

  • Protect your head trivia game (essential)
    Time: 50 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Introduce the topic to the students with a brief discussion of the brain and how important it is to protect it
    • Inform students that they will be learning more about this by playing a trivia game
    • Divide the class into two or more equal teams and create a score board on the board or on a sheet of paper
    • Instruct students that once the question is asked, the first team to raise their hands (or ring a bell, or use some other signaling device) will have the chance to answer the question
    • To begin the game, choose the first category and value and read the question aloud
    • Select the first team to raise their hands to attempt to answer the question
    • If the first team answers the question correctly, they will be awarded the corresponding number of points and they will choose the next question (any category and value remaining)
    • If the first team answers incorrectly, the other team(s) will have an opportunity to answer
    • The team that answers correctly will choose the next category and value until the board is complete or time has ended
    • If the question is not answer correctly after two attempts, no points will be awarded. In this case, provide the answer and clarify information using Core Knowledge Content as needed
    • Tally the scores and declare a winner

    Optional:

    • Ask the students what they learned by playing the game and whether anything they learned surprised them
    • Ask the students how they can prevent injuries to the head and/or brain

    Variations

    Follow this activity with one or more of the supplemental activities (Protect your head crossword puzzle, Hand signals and traffic signs labeling worksheet, brain injury demonstration, or Concussion 101 video).

    Quick review: This same game can be later used for a quick review as the Protect Your Head Trivia Lightning Round.

    • When time permits between activities or before dismissal, follow the instructions for the game, but with the goal of the class responding correctly to as many questions or accumulating the greatest number of points possible in a 5 or 10 minutes (depending on time available)
    • Revisit the activity at a later date. Without repeating the same questions, see if they can beat their previous score in the same amount of time.

    Quick review: This same game can be later used for quick review and enrichment as the Protect Your Head Trivia Card Game.

    • Print the trivia slides and cut into cards
    • Pairs or small groups of students will take turns asking each other the questions on the trivia cards. If a student answers correctly, he or she receives the corresponding number of points. The student with the most points wins.
  • Video on concussions
    Time: 15 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Cue video on the SMART Board and play
    • Following the video, have students discuss concussions, including prevention and recovery, as a whole class or in small groups
    • You may choose to use the following questions and information to guide discussion.

    Concussion 101 video discussion questions

    What is a concussion?

    • A form of head / brain injury
    • Occurs when the brain suddenly shifts or shakes in the skull
    • Can be caused by a direct or indirect hit to the head (e.g. from a fall or sports injury, car crash)
    • Causes a change in brain function and has various symptoms
    • Can be easily missed or overlooked, so it is important to get checked by a doctor and to be aware of the symptoms
  • Brain injury demonstration
    Time: 15 minutes

    Materials

    • Egg
    • Clear jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid (just large enough to hold the egg)
    • Water
    • Paper towel
    • Bowl

    Instructions

    • Ask the students to name different examples of ways that a person might get a concussion.
      • Some responses might be: falling off a jungle gym, being hit while playing sports, being in a car accident, etc.
    • Instruct the students that they will be doing a simulation that will show them how the brain becomes injured in a concussion
    • Tell students that the jar represents the human skull
    • Fill the jar or bottle about half way with water and tell the students that this represents cerebral fluid
    • Gently put the egg into the jar and tell the students that the egg represents the human brain
    • Close the lid tightly on the jar
    • Explain that when a person is hit or experiences a fall or sudden movement such as whiplash in a car accident, his or her brain, which is surrounded by cerebral fluid, can move and actually hit the inside of the skull. Sometimes the brain not only hits one part of the skull (e.g. the front of the brain hitting the inside of the front of the skull), but also moves back and forth hitting both the front and back of the brain against the skull.
    • Holding the jar sideways, demonstrate this by shaking the jar vigorously to move the egg back and forth, hitting the inside of the lid and base of the jar
    • Explain that this collision with the skull can cause a concussion
    • Demonstrate this by opening the jar, pouring the water into the bowl and removing the egg to examine the damage done by the action
    • Ask students to inspect the egg and discuss their observations
    • Ask students what they think would be effective in preventing this type of injury and what would not be effective
      • Students might notice that a helmet would not protect the brain from colliding with the skull. Emphasize that wearing a helmet is still important because it protects the skull, which is critical to protecting the brain.
      • Students might conclude that the best prevention would be to take safety precautions when engaging in activities. For example: using playground equipment properly; following road rules when walking, cycling, skateboarding, etc.
      • Students might also remark that changing rules in certain sports would be effective. For example: not permitting checking (hitting) or fighting in hockey.
    • Ask the students what to recall what they should do after suffering a concussion
      • Students might say, for example: tell an adult about how they are feeling; give themselves appropriate time to heal by refraining from activities that may interfere with recovery or re-injure the brain
      • Students might also mention that if someone they know has been injured and seems to be exhibiting symptoms of a concussion, they should tell someone
    • Show students the egg and ask them whether they think the egg is now stronger, more fragile, or the same as it was before the injury
      • The students will recognize that the egg is more fragile now than before (its shell is cracked or broken)
      • Emphasize that when the brain is injured, it is very important to take good care to let it heal because it can become injured again. Repeated injuries to the brain can cause serious damage over time that cannot be repaired.

    Variations

    • Allow students to do this simulation themselves in pairs or small groups by providing each pairing or group with their own eggs and jars
    • Pair this activity with a Jell-O brain activity, such as the one created by Parachute Canada
  • Protect your head crossword puzzle
    Time: 15 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Distribute a crossword puzzle worksheet to each student
    • Instruct the students to complete the statements using the word-bank provided
    • Instruct them to use the completed statements to fill in the corresponding sections of the crossword puzzle
    • Complete the first statement and section (2 Across) as a whole class
    • Allow students to complete the rest of the worksheet independently or in pairs
    • Project the blank crossword puzzle onto the SMART Board to correct the statements and crossword puzzle together as a whole class
    • Have a student read the first completed statement and identify the word used to fill the first section of the crossword puzzle. Write the word into the crossword puzzle
    • Repeat the exercise with the second statement. Once the student has responded, ask the class if they agree with the response (e.g., “thumbs-up/thumbs-down”).
    • If the answer is correct, confirm and write the word into the crossword puzzle
    • If the answer is incorrect, ask another student to provide an alternative or provide the correct response
    • If students appear to have misunderstood, clarify using the core knowledge content section of this Teaching Tool or, if necessary, review the content by revisiting the Trivia Game

    Variation

    • This activity can be used as formal assessment by having students complete the worksheet independently and collecting it for evaluation rather than correcting it as a group
    • To make this activity more challenging, remove the word-bank from the worksheet.
  • Bike traffic signs and hand signals labelling worksheet
    Time: 15 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Distribute a worksheet to each student
    • Instruct the students to correctly label the signs using the word bank provided
    • Allow students to complete the worksheet independently or in pairs
    • Project the blank worksheet onto the SMART Board to correct it together as a class
    • For each of the signs, have a student identify the correct label. Once the student has responded, ask the class if they agree with the response (e.g., "thumbs-up/thumbs-down")
    • If the answer is correct, confirm and write the word onto the worksheet
    • If the answer is incorrect, ask another student to provide an alternative or provide the correct response

    Variations

    • To make this activity more difficult, remove the word-bank from the worksheet

    Quick Review: This activity can be used for quick review or enrichment in the form of a matching game (individual, pairs, small groups, or whole class).

    • Print the answer sheet onto paper and cut out each of the signs and descriptions
    • Glue each sign and description onto a separate cue card
    • Pairs and small groups: The students can use these as cards for games like Memory (can also be individual) or Go-Fish, matching the sign with its description. The student who collects the most matched signs wins
    • Whole class: Each student can select one of the cards and then try to find his or her “buddy” (the person with the corresponding description or sign). The buddies who correctly pair up most quickly win

Opportunities to Extend Learning

Class projects

  • Road Safety Campaign: Have students create a road safety campaign (e.g. poster, presentation for other students, skit, video, or short story). This project could be connected to other curriculum, for example in Language, Arts, and Science.
  • Protect Your Head Design Project: In the context of Science and Technology curriculum, have students design a solution to prevent head and brain injury (e.g. a helmet, a bike mirror).

School-wide activities

  • Bike Rodeo: Hold a school-wide bike rodeo with the support of community partners, including Public Health, to promote bike safety.
  • Safe Travel Plan: Create a safe travel plan with the support of community partners, including Public Health, to promote active transport and improving the safety of routes to school for walkers and cyclists.

Consult Your School Health Nurse

Your school's public health nurse can help you prepare for delivering this presentation and can assist you in developing engaging projects and extension activities. To reach your school health nurse, contact healthyschools@niagararegion.ca or 905-688-8248 ext. 7379.


Page Feedback Did you find what you were looking for today?