Lesson Plans

Mapping the Brain

Created by : 
Scholastic and the National Institute on Drug Abuse

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about several common types of brain-imaging technology used by neuroscientists and doctors. This technology serves as a jumping-off point to introduce students to different regions of the brain and ongoing research into teens’ brain development. A student article explains how MRI, fMRI, and PET scans work and how neuroscientists use them in research. A work sheet asks students to label real brain images using information from the article.

What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • Student article
  • Student work sheet
  • Vocabulary list
  • Critical thinking questions
  • Writing prompts
  • Suggestions for further reading and videos

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Basic knowledge of brain-imaging techniques
  • Knowledge of some recent and ongoing research about teens' brains
  • Critical thinking

Time / Duration: 

  • 1 class period


  • Printer/copier for student handouts

Alignment with National Standards: 

  • Common Core State Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • National Science Education Standards


  • English