This unit is intended to be taught in a high school human anatomy and physiology class. At first glance it may seem to be an odd way to teach about the brain to high school students, but my students are special. All of my students are pregnant or parenting teenagers and have or will have the experience of caring for an infant. Because these infants will grow up to become students in our district school, it is wise to help their mothers prepare the infants for their eventual entrance into the primary grades. Thus, this unit is intended to help the young mothers in my classroom learn enough about the brain, in particular the infant and young child's brain, to be able to prepare their children in the best way possible for their entrance into school.
The unit is structured to follow the development of the brain and nervous system of a child from just after conception through about age five. This time period covers most of the more interesting developments in brain structure and function. The timeline allows for an organized way to study a very complex set of structures.