Endocrine System

Creative activities to help your students learn about the Endocrine System.  Activities marked with an * are quick and could easily be incorporated into class.

1) Conversation Starter for Fight or Flight*
2) Hierarchical Endocrinism
3) Follow the Bouncing Hormones
4) Song about endocrine system from “Groovin’ in the Hippocampus”*

Ask the students to get into a comfortable position in their chairs. Turn off the lights (close shades if possible). Tell the students that when you begin they will be told to close their eyes. They are to keep them closed until told otherwise. They should also not make any sounds (don’t answer out loud any questions that may be asked). They are to only listen and use their imaginations.

Say (pausing …. after each suggestion): Close your eyes….Relax your feet….Relax your knees….Relax your thighs… Relax your stomach….Relax your hands….Relax your shoulders….Relax your chest….Relax your forehead. Imagine yourself in the middle of a beautiful field of flowers….The smell is sweet….the colors are all of your favorites….there is no pollen to irritate you….you are perfectly relaxed….the sky is blue, with only small puffs of white clouds…. You look around and see a small dirt road leading into the most beautiful grove of trees….you decide to follow the road into the trees….As you walk on the road, the temperature gets cooler….there are still flowers among the trees…. You see the road makes a sharp turn ahead, and as you walk around the turn you notice a house at the end of the road….It is not large, but it is not small either….The house is not well kept, but it is not falling down either….You can tell that someone lives there…. You decide to go up to the house to see if anyone there could give you a drink of water….You walk up to the house and up the 3 broken steps to the front door….The door is standing open a little as you knock….No one answers your knock, so you knock again, a little louder….Now you hear a muffled sound coming from far inside the house….You look into the front room of the house and see clothes laying around….a half full glass of milk….and a kitchen in the back…. You hear the sound again….so you call out….again you hear a muffled sound from the back of the house….You walk into the house….looking around as you go towards the kitchen…. In the kitchen you notice a door, half open leading into blackness….you open the door and see steps leading down….you hear the muffled sound a little louder now coming from beneath the stairs…. You begin walking down the stairs, into the darkness….your hand brushes up against the cool wall….At the bottom of the stairs you hear the muffled sound coming from your right, and as you turn towards it your hand feels a wetness on the walls….You walk very slowly towards the sound….in the darkness….then A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A (teacher screams as loudly as possible) Open your eyes. What is your body doing right now????

Janet Weaver, Rosary School Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
retrieved from: The Educator’s Reference Desk

· Place the organs and hormones of the endocrine system into a political hierarchy at whatever level or type of organization (county / state / federal / university / community college / church) you like.  Assign positions or jobs and give explanations for the assigned titles and list job duties.

3) Follow the bouncing hormones:
This exercise requires a simple diagram of the entire human body.  You want something you can print to 8.5X11 size that shows major organs but not much else as it can get confusing otherwise.  A kinesthetic approach to learning the origin, path and outcomes of hormones is to trace them on the body. Here are a couple of diagrams if you don’t have something readily available.
without organs
with organs

Several ways:
1) laminate the sheet and use write on / wipe off markers to trace the paths, making sure to write onto the sheet what the starting point of the hormone is, show it’s target and write down the outcomes.  You can also make lines from the target of the hormone to effects or responses in a different part of the body.
2) Alternately you can use one sheet of paper for each hormone.
3) Ideally you do both.  The student can have a permanent record on the paper sheet and then practice on the write on  / wipe off sheet.  Encourage students to talk out loud as they draw the pathway so they hear, see and move through what they are studying.

Find ways to additionally use color – such as one color for hormones that originate in the anterior lobe of the pituitary, one color for those that come from the posterior lobe of the pituitary and another color for those that are released by the adrenal medullae after stimulation from the hypothalamus.  Students should place a key at the bottom of the papers if they are going to do this so they will remember what that color means.

4) Song from “Groovin’ in the Hippocampus”:
Hormones Rule (hormones and endocrine organs)

2 thoughts on “Endocrine System”

  1. Cathy Thomas,RN, Health Science Instructor

    I love these ideas, they are awesome! I’ve never thought of anything so creative. I will use these in teaching for sure. I came up with one myself if anyone is interest in it, I had some help from our art class, and we drew a picture on a large canvas ( like you have seen a painter use) of the heart cut in half. By doing this the student could walk through as though they were the blood. As they went through they would name each chamber, valve artery and so on. It was a great help in teaching them where the blood went and when it was oxygenated and when it was deoxygenated. Thank you for the ideas and especially the song! Cathy Thomas

    1. Hey Cathy! So glad you liked the song and the ideas. And thank you SO much for sharing your fabulous idea. I think incorporating movement into learning is HUGE because it forces more of a student’s attention on to the subject at hand. They are engaging more modalities in a moment of learning. Have a great semester!

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