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Years 7 & 8 Band, Health & Physical Education


  • Alcohol & Other Drugs

  • Food & Nutrition

  • Mental Health & Wellbeing


Stages of Brain Development - 45 minutes



1. The Architecture of the Brain

2. The 5 Stages of Brain Development

3. Teen Brain Development

Close - Portfolio/homework allocated


15 minutes

15 minutes

10 minutes

5 minutes


Teachers may prefer to allocate 2 or more 45 minute sessions to this module, to allow students more time to respond online and re-watch videos. This would be particularly relevant, if additional, longer-term projects were determined as useful to consolidate and share knowledge and findings in the wider community.


Introductory Notes:

It is important for teachers & facilitators to understand that social and emotional learning fosters the ability to make positive choices about how we behave. As teens, students need to build up the ‘tool kit’ of life skills to strengthen their decision-making skills.

These include:

  • self-awareness

  • self-concept

  • social awareness

  • social management

  • critical thinking

  • problem solving

  • reflecting & analysing

These can be incorporated through the segment via online group discussion. Additionally, when face to face group opportunities present themselves use may be made in pedagogy such as role-play, debating, presentations at assemblies, and local community groups. Teachers will also know that our experiences and actions affect the way our brains develop and positive role models and interactions from family members and others such as club leaders, coaches, teachers, friends and social groups.

Quality feedback, reactions and experiential learning add to the teen’s ‘tool kit’ by helping them to learn:

• Strategies for relating and interacting with others

• Assertive behaviour skill

• How to establish and manage changing relationships – offline and online

• General health and wellbeing activities

• What impact Social / emotional health has on general well being

• Observe real resilience skills in action that support resilient behaviour

• See how others demonstrate coping skills and help seeking strategies

Topic 1 - The Architecture of the Brain


Choose ONE of the videos below and ask students to verbally describe one or two aspects of the brain that interested them.

Video 1 - What are the Parts of the Brain?

Brief video on brain structure: 'Let's dive into neuroanatomy. It sounds like something a smart person should know about, like YOU. We'll go over all of the major parts of the brain, including the occipital, temporal, parietal and frontal lobes. We'll even cover some of the other structures that get taken for granted.'

Video 2 - Human Brain: Major Structures and their Functions

Educational video for children to learn what the brain is, which are its parts and how it works. The brain is in charge of coordinating all vital functions of our body and gives meaning to what is happening around us. It receives signals from our environment and sends messages to different parts of our body so that they would respond adequately. The brain is divided into three parts: the cerebellum, the encephalic trunk and the cerebral cortex. In this video we're going the look at each part's function with specific examples. The video also explains the division of the brain into two hemispheres: the right hemisphere which is the location of intuition or creativity and the left hemisphere, which controls tasks like calculating, reasoning or language.


This diagram of the structure of the brain, may help prompt students with terminology used.


Written response:

Students to research 5 parts of the brain and describe their function - approximately 150-200 words.

Topic 2 - The Stages of Brain Development


Ask students to work in pairs to share one main finding related to alcohol and drug use and the impact of the brain in the information in this link.

*Examples are in dark text below.


Complete a worksheet with questions related to 5 stages of brain development.

*Examples of worksheet can be supplied, based on the notes below.


Throughout the lifetime of the human brain it continues to undergo changes.

Stage 1 - Antenatal 0-10 Months

Baby's neurone and connections growing.

Pregnant woman should avoid cigarettes, alcohol & drugs.

Stage 2 - Birth to 6 Years

Development of voluntary movement, frontal lobes active in development of emotions, attachments. A sense of self is developing. By age six, the brain is 95% its adult weight and peak of energy consumption.

Stage 3 - 7 to 22 Years

The neural connections or 'grey' matter is still pruning, wiring of the brain still in progress, the fatty tissues surrounding neurone increase and assist with speeding up electrical impulses and stabilize connections. The prefrontal cortex is the last to mature and it involves the control of impulses and decision-making. Therefore, teenagers need to avoid drugs, alcohol and smoking.

Stage 4 - 23 to 65 Years

Finally, the brain reaches its peak power around age 22 and lasts for 5 more years. Best approach is to stay mentally active, learn new things, stay physically active and eat a very healthy diet. Avoid toxins, cigarettes, alcohol and mind-altering drugs.

Stage 5 - Older than 65 Years

Brain cells are lost in the critical areas responsible for processing memories. Eat a healthy diet with foods to nourish one's level of dopamine.

Topic 3 - Teen Brain Development

Focus on teen social / emotional development


Students to watch and discuss at least one of the videos below, focussing on the knowledge that 'we are the programmers of our brains' and the fact that our experiences and actions affect the way our brains develop; and that the choice to use drugs can affect emotions and behaviour into adulthood. Feel free to pause the videos at key points for discussion and / or reflection.

Teen brain development

The Teen Brain: Why teens have heightened emotions

Why the teenage brain has an evolutionary advantage



'We are the programmers of our own brains'

Students review one of the videos at home and begin an E Portfolio entitled ‘We are programmers of our own brains’. They record, perhaps in diary format occasions when they or a close friend/family member feel that their brains have been challenged; ie. Trying out for a school play or musical production; speaking in front of a school assembly; deciding about reporting an incidence of bullying etc. They should describe how they felt when

preparing for this event, what they did to help them through it, how they felt when actually doing it; how they reacted to the results. For example, if they did not get the part in the school play or musical, how did they react? Did they feel they could try again next time? Did they look at how they could have done better? Did they walk away and not want to repeat the experience? Additionally, students can embark on a group activity to use health practices, behaviours and resources to enhance health, safety and wellbeing of their communities. For example they may develop posters to display in public places such as shopping centres or at school assemblies. This could be done in groups and connect to other classes ie. Art, IT etc.

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Links to the Australian Curriculum


Health and Physical Education


  • ACPPS073 - Investigate & select strategies to promote health, safety & wellbeing

  • ACPPS075 - Analyse factors that influence emotions & develop strategies to demonstrate empathy & sensitivity

  • ACPPS076 - Evaluate health information & communicate their own & others' health concerns

  • ACPPS077 - Plan & use health practices, behaviours & resources to enhance health, safety & well being of their communities

Want to get involved?


If you are interested in participating at any level, or want more information, please contact Jo Baxter at Drug Free Australia

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