It has been described that when people understand the basic biological drivers behind behavior, thoughts and emotions they can experience greater self-control, self-awareness, and emotion regulation. Students will be taught the basic form and function of the brain during this lesson.
What will students learn during this lesson?
Students will be taught about the two brain systems and how both systems are important in our lives. They will develop an understanding that learning about how their brain reacts in different situations can help us "get our wizard-brain back in charge".
Responsible for complex thought, planning, decision-making, impulse control and self-awareness.
"Ability to plan, think and reason, learn, and have empathy for others. And reminds us to use our coping skills!"
"When the lizard is in charge, the wizard can’t be. Ever tried to learn something new in class but you were angry or upset…you can’t do it!"
This represents our wizard brain. It will also encounter stressful situations but unlike the lizard, the wizard knows how to calm down or “release the air”. For example, if your brother or sister is annoying you in the morning, my wizard brain can help me remember things like “take a deep breath and remind yourself that he or she is just little and too young to know how annoying he/she is being”.
This is what it means to be mindful during our day. We use our wizard brain to make sure our lizard brain doesn’t take charge when it shouldn’t.
Remember the lizard isn’t bad, we need it but sometimes it gets confused and overreacts.
Responsible for our Flight or Fight response.
Activated during strong emotional situations.
"Have you ever felt so angry or scared that your heart starts beating fast, your breath speeds up, you get shaky, you might even forget what is happening?…then you know what it is like to have your lizard brain in charge."
"Although it might have been more useful for our ancestors and can be useful for safety, it also can lead us to make poor decisions in other situations. Have you ever said or done something while angry that you later regretted?"
Our lizard brain can also be fueled by hunger, tiredness, and stress.
This is our lizard brain. Whenever we encounter a stressful situation and do not use our wizard brain and coping skills to release it, we fill up our lizard brain.This may not seem like a big deal at first but throughout our day there may be many stressful situations that slowly add air to our lizard brain.All day we have been filling up our lizard brain full of stress and keeping it all in. What do you think might happen if we go home with a full balloon and our parents ask us to do a chore we do not like or if our brother or sister teases us about something little not knowing our balloon is full? That’s right! We’ll pop!
These “pops” may look different for all of us, but usually these are our “freak-out” moments we later regret.