Why was Phineas Gage's incredible injury so important to understanding the brain? When an iron rod blasted completely through Gage's skull in the mid 19th century, you would think he would be a goner. Think again! Gage lived to not only tell his story, but be studied by researchers and psychologists interested in the functioning of his unique brain. With this lesson, students will come to understand the importance of Gage's injury to psychology and our knowledge of the brain.
Students will be prompted to:
1) Respond to a Bell Ringer while watching a video clip of a college football player who suffered a violent concussion that changed his life forever. Students will have to consider whether they would allow their child to play a contact sport that could leave lifelong debilitating consequences.
2) Read an introductory piece about the theory of localization and listen to an audio recording about the recent discovery of a rare photo of Phineas Gage. During the recording students will answer a few questions.
3) Next, students will read an article about the injury, psychological study, and psychological importance of Phineas Gage. Students will gather fifteen essential words from the reading to use for the next activity.
4) Students will then write a short obituary that describes the life, death and overall legacy left by Phineas Gage.
5) To conclude the lesson, students will complete an exit ticket that asks them to answer the essential question: "Why was Phineas Gage's brain injury important to our understanding of the brain."
BONUS- Songs and video clips regarding Gage's famous accident.