Students can practice what they have learned about neurons with this simple coloring activity. The page shows features of the neuron, such as the axons and dendrites. They will also color the supporting cells of the matrix.
There are no instructions, students must identify each of the types of glial cells: oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, microglial cells, , and ependymal cells. They should use their textbook or other resources to identify the cells and color them according to the directions. You can also display a large image of the neuron on the projector to help them identify parts.
Several images of the neuroglia can be found online to help students complete this assignment if there are no applicable images in their textbook.
After coloring the diagram, students write a brief description about each of the neuroglia. This is information that can be found in the notes from the chapter.
Extension: Neuroglia and Cancer
Students can also explore glial cells and their relationship to cancer. Glioblastoma is considered one of the deadliest of the brain cancers, making headline news when Senator John McCain was diagnosed. Students can read about this cancer at NPR Health News.
Because glioblastoma tumors do not usually have a defined mass, they can be difficult to treat. The tumor itself can original from the astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and even from neural stem cells.
Grade Level: 10-12Time Required: 15-20 minutes (for coloring)
45 minutes if including discussion/reading on glioblastoma
HS-LS1-2 Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.