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Lesson Plan: Muscle Contraction Biology

This lesson plan includes the objectives and prerequisites of the lesson teaching students how to describe the structure of a neuromuscular junction and outline the sliding filament theory of muscle contraction.


Students will be able to

  • recall that muscles can be voluntary or involuntary,
  • describe the coordination of the skeletal, nervous, and muscular systems in moving the body,
  • describe how electrical impulses are transmitted across a neuromuscular junction, including the role of calcium ions, acetylcholine, and sodium ions,
  • recall the sliding filament theory as the accepted theory of skeletal muscle contraction,
  • describe how muscles contract according to the sliding filament theory, including the action of actin and myosin filaments and the role of tropomyosin, calcium ions, and ATP,
  • suggest what happens when muscles become fatigued.


Students should already be familiar with

  • the structure of muscles and muscle fibers,
  • transmission of a nervous impulse.

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