Learning About Learning 

Grades 6—8

Written by Jacqueline Barber, Katharine Barrett,
Kevin Beals, Lincoln Bergman, and Marion C. Diamond

How, as individuals, do humans learn? What hinders and helps our learning? Do animals learn in a similar way? How, as a community of humans, do we learn things that are important for survival? Does the structure of our brains change as we learn?

Learning About Learning jumps headlong into these and other questions to investigate the process of how we acquire, assess, and retain information. In this interdisciplinary guide, students delve into the human organism and nervous system, animal behavior, health and safety issues, product testing, and the ethics of experimentation. In the process, they learn a great deal about what scientists actually do.

Through this truly unique series of rich and varied activities, stories, and articles, students gain insight into the topic of learning and the marvels of the human brain. The unit also models teaching approaches that take into account different learning styles and the idea of "multiple intelligences." Many teachers present these activities at the start of the school term so students can apply their new consciousness about their own learning and the workings of the brain over the rest of the year.

The unit begins with irresistible maze-making activities. In two different sessions, students role-play wolf pups seeking their own pack and determining which foods are safe to eat. An intriguing mystery scenario focuses on health issues (including a compelling message against sniffing glue and other solvents). In other sessions, student-scientists simulate the pioneering work of Dr. Marian Diamond on the impact of enriched and impoverished environments on brain development. A closing play ties the many strands of the unit together in a novel and memorable way.

Praise for Learning About Learning:

"I am writing to commend you on an excellent unit. For the past two weeks I have implemented Learning About Learning in my classroom. It has proven to be a great way to start off the school year. Normally I modify materials extensively before I use them with students. However, the materials in this guide were perfect the way they were. The comments regarding preparation and presentation were extremely helpful. Thank you for producing such a wonderful product."

—Teacher, San Antonio, TX

Comment on this GEMS unit.

Learning About Learning


Order online

Ordering information

Literature Connections

Spanish Language Student Materials

What materials are needed to present this unit? See the full list.


ISBN: Grade Level Format Price

0-924886-42-0

68

10 Activities,
220 pages

$28

Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2014 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated June 20, 2011