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Universe Within, The

Viewing Ideas

Before Watching

  1. Have the students imagine that they are about to take part in a long-jump competition. Which parts of their bodies will they rely on? In what sequence will those body parts be put to use? As they watch the first segment of the program, have them keep track of the process of how their muscle system works.

  2. The second segment of the program describes how the body protects itself from invaders. As they watch the program, have them chronicle the stages of the immune system response and the cells that are activated.

  3. The digestive process involves several organs. When all of these organs function properly, the body converts food into useful energy. Before they watch the program, ask students to suggest some situations that might cause distress in the digestive system. As they watch, have students look for examples of problems in the digestive system that can be avoided through changes in behavior.

After Watching

  1. The program graphically portrays the results of stress, bad eating habits, and alcohol consumption on the digestive system. Some of these results can be avoided through changes in behavior. Others can be easily repaired by the body's defenses. After they have watched the segment on digestion, discuss with your students some of the steps that they might take to protect their own digestive systems.

  2. The program explicitly por-trays how our immune system responds to foreign invaders over time with macrophages, phagocytes, killer T-cells, helper T-cells, and antibodies. Discuss the function of these various immune system cells. Have students brainstorm metaphors in the real world which describe how these cells interact and cooperate (e.g., teamwork in the military, corporations, sports.)

Teacher's Guide
Universe Within, The

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