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Lesson Plan: Synapses Biology

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe the structure of a synapse and explain how information is transmitted across synapses.


Students will be able to

  • recall that neurons can form synapses with other neurons, muscle fibers, or gland cells,
  • describe the structure of a cholinergic synapse, including the vesicles and the calcium ion channels of the presynaptic neuron and the acetylcholine receptors and sodium ion channels of the postsynaptic neuron,
  • explain the mechanism of transmitting a nervous impulse across a synapse via the neurotransmitter acetylcholine,
  • describe the role of acetylcholinesterase in breaking down acetylcholine,
  • recall that transmission across a synapse is unidirectional.


Students should already be familiar with

  • the fact that the nervous system transmits electrical impulses,
  • action potentials.


Students will not cover

  • details of synapses at neuromuscular junctions.

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