Be Brain Smart

Be Brain Smart lesson plan

Does animal brain size match body size? Affect intelligence? Sculpt the brains of three vertebrates to compare and contrast their structure and size.

  • 1.

    Your brain controls every movement and thought you have. Your brain is always working, whether you’re asleep or awake!

  • 2.

    Find facts about the brains of humans and two other vertebrates. You’ll find that all brains have two hemispheres, distinct structures, and are attached to a spinal cord. Among the differences you may find are that size and cortical folding varies among species.

  • 3.

    Do you think brain size is linked to animal size or intelligence? Discuss this with your classmates, who may have researched other animals. Make a chart of the similarities and differences you discovered using Crayola® Multicultural Markers.

  • 4.

    Mix white Model Magic with color from Washable Multicultural Markers. Sculpt three different vertebrate brains.

  • 5.

    Sculpt all three brains to scale and to show details. Air-dry them at least 24 hours.

  • 6.

    Add more color to highlight the folds in your brain models.

  • 7.

    Label each brain with details such as the name of the animal, typical brain size/weight and adult animal weight, and the relative intelligence of each creature.


  • Children research details about the brains of three different vertebrates.
  • Children compare and contrast brain sizes of different vertebrates and discuss the link between brain size, intelligence, and animal size.
  • Children sculpt and label three realistic scale models of different brains.


  • Display all of the brain models. Compare and contrast the different brains. Arrange them from most to least intellegent animal.
  • Diagram cut-away view of a human brain. Label each part and explain what that part of the brain does.