Synaptic Tag - Lesson Plan
(Integration of physical education and science)
(Developed by Melissa Yoshioka; Maui Community College)


Students will review the parts of the synapse and their functions by playing a game called "Synaptic Tag". The process by which enzymes can break down neurotransmitters (e.g., acetylcholine) in the synaptic cleft are modeled.



Display the chart of the synapse. Review the parts and functions of the neuron and discuss how neurotransmitters are important for the transmission of information within the nervous system.


Explain the object of the game: to get as many neurotransmitters across the synapse to the dendrite without being caught (deactivated) by the enzyme.

Display the diagram of the game and explain how the game is played.

Check for understanding to ascertain whether the students understand the rules of the game.

Select teams representing the different parts of the synapse.

Write teams on the chalk board. Each team could wear a different color ribbon.

Play the game.

Evaluate how well the game was played using new terminology (e.g., synapse, neurotransmitter, enzymes, etc.).

Rotate the teams so they play a different part of the synapse.


Provide a diagram of the game. Students should be able to identify each part of the synapse as illustrated in the diagram and describe its function.
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