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Endocrine System: A Look at the Endocrine System

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Objectives:

  • The students will be able to describe the function of the endocrine system.

  • The students will be able to explain the difference between endocrine glands and exocrine                              glands.

  • The students will be able to describe the structures of the endocrine system.

  • The students will be able to identify the location of each major gland in the body.

  • The students will be able to explain the function of each major gland in the body.

  • The students will develop an understanding of some of the pathologies of the endocrine                                   system.

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Think about the glands in your body.

  • Why do you think we have glands?

  • How many glands do you think we have in our body?  

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about your endocrine system/ glands?

Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.4

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

Input:
What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:

  • The function of the endocrine system.

  • The function of each structure of the endocrine system.

  • The difference between endocrine glands and exocrine glands.

  • The location and function of each major gland in the body.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • The class will begin with the teacher showing the video “The Endocrine System” (source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN78hYn3ehc). The video is a little bit over 5 minutes and describes the endocrine system. After the video is shown, the teacher should begin a discussion about what the students observed and their thoughts on the content.

  • Next, the teacher should hand out the “Diagram of the Endocrine System”. If it is possible, project the “Diagram of the Endocrine System” onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project so that the teacher can point to the while they explain. As the teacher explains, the students will write the name of each structure on the line. From this activity, the students will learn about the structures of the endocrine system.

    • **The diagram is split to show male and female glands. It is important to point out that males and females (boys and girls) have different glands for reproduction. In males (boys), it is the testes. In females (girls), it is the ovaries. Since the students are younger, do not go in-depth**

  • Next, the teacher should review the “What is the Endocrine System?” worksheet. If it is possible, project the “What is the Endocrine System” worksheet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project so that the teacher can point while they explain. As the teacher explains, the students should fill in the blanks on their worksheet. From this activity, the students will learn about the functions of the endocrine system.

  • **The student worksheet does not contain all of this information. Use this as a guide to help explain the endocrine system more in depth to the students**

    • The main function of the endocrine system is to produce hormones that work together to maintain homeostasis (constant internal environment) through all of the body systems.

    • Hormones are chemical messengers secreted (given off) by the endocrine glands. Their job is to regulate the activity of cells, organs, or both. They are secreted into the bloodstream, which is how these hormones reach the organ or cell.

    • To check hormone levels, doctors order blood or urine tests.

    • There are 13 major glands.

    • **The students will learn more about the major glands when they complete the next worksheet, “Glands of the Endocrine System”**

  • There are two different types of glands: endocrine and exocrine.

    • Endocrine: ductless and go directly into the bloodstream.

    • Exocrine: go through a duct and release secretions through tissues. Examples include the sweat glands and the salivary glands.

    • Once a hormone is secreted, it travels from the gland through the bloodstream to the intended cell or organ. As it travels to the cell or organ, proteins bind to the hormones that allow the hormone to secrete the correct amount. Receptors on the target cells communicate only with the hormone. Once the hormone reaches the cell, it locks onto the receptors. The hormones and the receptors create a combination that continues to send messages to inner cell.

    • Once the hormone levels have reached the correct amount, body mechanisms step in to control the hormone secretion.

      • Example: once the thyroid gland has secreted the normal amount of hormones, the pituitary gland will sense this. It will then adjust the amount of thyrotropin, the hormone in the pituitary gland that stimulates the thyroid to produce hormones.

    • Negative Feedback System: when a gland senses there is an elevated level of a hormone and begins to decrease secretion.

    • When the levels of secretion are off (either too much is secreted or not enough is secreted), there can be issues.

    • Over secretion of the growth hormone can result in an extremely tall person. Under secretion can result in an extremely small person.

    • **The students will learn more about disorders of the endocrine system when they review the worksheet, “Pathologies of the Endocrine System”**

Information Sources:​ 

Medical Terminology for Healthcare Professionals by Ann Ehrlich and Carol L. Schroeder. © 2012.

  • Next, the teacher should review the “Glands of the Endocrine System” worksheet. If it is possible, project the “Glands of the Endocrine System” worksheet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project so that the teacher can point while they explain. As the teacher explains, the students should fill in the blank boxes on their worksheet. From this activity, the students will learn about the major glands of the endocrine system and the functions of each gland.

  • **The student worksheet does not contain all of this information. Use this as a guide to help explain the endocrine system more in depth to the students**

    • Pituitary Gland: size of a pea; located below the hypothalamus in the brain; divided into two lobes: anterior and posterior; anterior- thyroid, adrenals, and reproductive glands; secretes: growth hormone, prolactin (milk for breastfeeding mothers), thyrotropin (thyroid hormones), corticotrophin (stimulates the adrenal glands), and endorphins (help reduce pain sensitivity); posterior- release antidiuretic hormone, which controls water balance and the output of urine; releases oxytocin (helps during labor/ birth of a baby).

  • **Due to the age level, discussing the release of hormones for ovaries and testes to make sex hormones/ovulation/menstruation may or may not be appropriate. Use your best judgment about discussing this topic**

    • Pineal Gland: located in the central part of the brain; secretes melatonin; influences the sleep-wake cycle.

    • Thyroid Gland: butterfly-shaped; located on either side of the larynx/ front part of the lower neck; influences metabolism/ the body’s ability to burn food for energy; also influences bone growth and brain/ nervous system development.

    • Parathyroid Glands (4): four glands that are attached to the thyroid gland; size of a grain of rice; regulates calcium levels throughout the body.

    • Thymus: located near the midline of the thoracic cavity (near the ribs), behind the sternum, above the heart; influences the immune system’s ability to fight infections.

    • Pancreas (Pancreatic Islets): feather-shaped organ; produces insulin and glucagon; helps to maintain the level of glucose (sugar) in the body; helps keep the body’s fuel supply “stocked up”.

    •  Adrenal Glands (2): triangular-shaped; located at the top of each kidney; has two portions- outer and middle; outer- adrenal cortex; regulates salt and water balance; inner- adrenal medulla; helps control the body’s response to stress (adrenal rush); controls electrolyte levels in the body;

    • Gonads (2): testes- males; help during puberty to develop a deeper voice, facial hair, and muscle growth/ strength; ovaries- females; help during puberty to develop a growth spurt, larger chest (breasts), and the cycle that helps create a baby (menstrual cycle).

  • **Due to the age level, discussing puberty/ body changes may or may not be appropriate. Use your best judgment about discussing this topic**

Information Sources:​ 

Medical Terminology for Healthcare Professionals by Ann Ehrlich and Carol L. Schroeder. © 2012.

  • Next, the teacher should review the “Pathologies of the Endocrine System” information sheet. If it is possible, project the “Pathologies of the Endocrine System” information sheet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project so that the teacher can point while they explain. As the teacher explains, the students should follow along. From this activity, the students will learn about some of the pathologies of the endocrine system.

**Refer to the teacher’s copy of the worksheet**

  • For the activity, the students will break into pairs. The teacher will give each pair a Zip-Loc bag with 18 “Endocrine System Cards”.  9 cards will be the names of the glands and 9 cards will be descriptions of the glands. The students will play a match game with the cards. Tell the students to place the cards on the desk, face/words down. The first player will pick a card and see if they can find the name of the gland (if the card had the gland’s description) or the description of the gland (if the card had the name of the gland). Allow the students to use their “Glands of the Endocrine System” worksheet as a guide when playing the game. Allow the students about 15 minutes play the game. Reconvene when 15 minutes is over and review.

 

  • The final assessment will be for the students to answer the question:

Think about what you learned in class today. What is the main function of the endocrine system? What are hormones? How many major glands are there? What is the difference between endocrine glands and exocrine glands? Name one example of exocrine glands. What is the negative feedback system? Name one gland, its location, and function.

free lesson plan and resources for the nervous system

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

  • Introductory Activity (video)

  • “Diagram of the Endocrine System” worksheet

  • “What is the Endocrine System?” worksheet

  • “Glands of the Endocrine System” worksheet

  • “Pathologies of the Endocrine System” information sheet

  • Group Activity/Game: “Endocrine System Match Game”

  • Discussion of Group Activity

  • Independent Assessment

10 minutes

Introductory Activity:

20 Minutes

Diagram of the Endocrine System | What is the Endocrine System? | Glands of the Endocrine System| Pathologies of the Endocrine System

  • Give each student a “Diagram of the Endocrine System” worksheet.

  • Project the worksheet onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • Give each student a “What is the Endocrine System?” worksheet

  • Project the worksheet onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • Give each student a “Glands of the Endocrine System” worksheet

  • Project the worksheet onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • Give each student a “Pathologies of the Endocrine System” information sheet

  • Project the worksheet onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

15 Minutes

Group Activity: “The Process of Digestion”

  • Group Activity: “Endocrine System Match Game”

  • Instruct the students to break into pairs.

  • Give each pair a Zip-Loc bag with the “Endocrine System Match Game Cards”

  • Tell the students to place the cards on the desk, face/words down.

  • Tell the students they can use their worksheet.

  • At the end of 15 minutes, have the students return to their desks and discuss the activity.

Closure/Assessment
10 minutes

  • The final assessment will be for the students to answer the question:

    • Think about what you learned in class today.

    • What is the main function of the endocrine system?

    • What are hormones?

    • How many major glands are there?

    • What is the difference between endocrine glands and exocrine glands?

    • Name one example of exocrine glands. What is the negative feedback system?

    • Name one gland, its location, and function.

  • Appropriate answers should include (but will vary):

    • The main function of the endocrine system is to produce hormones that work together to maintain homeostasis. There are 13 major glands in the body. The difference between endocrine glands and exocrine glands is: endocrine glands are ductless and go directly into the bloodstream; exocrine glands go through a duct and release secretions through tissues, these include sweat and salivary glands. The negative feedback system is when the body senses that there is an elevated level of a hormone and it begins to decrease secretion. Gland location and function will vary.

  • If there is additional time, discuss any additional questions the students may have.


Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding

English Language Learners will be supported in this lesson through data-based heterogeneous grouping, verbal and written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images and video.