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Lesson Plan: Reflex Actions Biology

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe the structure of the reflex arc and explain the advantages of having reflex actions.


Students will be able to

  • recall that the peripheral nervous system is composed of 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves that extend through the body,
  • recall that the nerves of the peripheral nervous system can be sensory and/or motor,
  • define the terms stimulus and receptor,
  • describe the structure of a reflex arc as stimulus receptor sensory neuron relay neuron motor neuron effector response,
  • explain the functions of each part of the reflex arc,
  • understand that reflex responses do not require processing in the brain before a response is provided,
  • explain the benefit of the reflex arc in given situations in keeping the human body safe from harm and responding to danger.


Students should already be familiar with

  • humans responding involuntarily to things like loud noises, bright flashes of lights, and unexpected movements.


Students will not cover

  • the process of generating an action potential.

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