Creative ways to teach the endocrine system

Endocrine System Games & Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns Show bio Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

If you are teaching your students about the endocrine system, you might be looking for ways to make learning fun and engaging. This lesson offers you some games and activities to bring your students’ learning to life!

Why Endocrine System Games and Activities?

Are you teaching your students about the endocrine system? If so, you understand that this can be a complex phenomenon for many students to wrap their heads around. Unlike the muscular or respiratory systems, for instance, the endocrine system seems largely invisible, and students may struggle to understand the way it is working within their own bodies. One way to help students understand this intricate yet important system is by incorporating games and activities into your instruction. Games and activities make learning more fun and engaging, and they also access students’ different strengths, learning styles and modalities. Further, many games and activities are collaborative, and students often have a lot to learn from one another. The games and activities in this lesson are designed to help your students understand the endocrine system and why it is important to the human body.

Endocrine System Games

Match the Gland to the Function

This game is a lot like Memory or Concentration, but it focuses on the endocrine system. To play, you will need a set of cards. Half of the cards should have the name of a gland in the endocrine system, while the other half should label their corresponding function. For instance, one card might say ‘pituitary gland,’ and its partner card would say ‘controls growth and development.’ You can make these sets of cards yourself or enlist students’ help in making them. Then, have students play in partnerships. Students should shuffle the cards and set them up in a grid, facing down. The first student turns over two cards. If they go together, she gets to keep them; if not, she turns them face down again. The second student then gets a chance to turn over two cards. Students will have to remember where the appropriate matches are, and all the while they will be thinking about the glands of the endocrine system and their function. At the end of the game, the partner who has collected the most pairs is the winner.

Endocrine Bingo

This game focuses on where the glands of the endocrine system are located within the body. You will need to create sets of Bingo cards, or enlist students’ help in creating them. Each card should contain the names of different glands of the endocrine system, but they should be in a different order on each card. Some of the glands you might include on cards are the thymus, the thyroid, the pancreas, and so on. Then, you or someone else works as the caller. You should call out an area of the body where a gland might be. For instance, you could say brain, abdomen, etc. Any student whose card has a gland in that area gets to cover up that gland with a chip or paper clip. The first student who covers up an entire row of glands should call out ‘Endocrine Bingo.’ If they have completed the row accurately, they win the round.

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Endocrine System Activities

Sketch it Out

Some students really do their best learning when they are able to work visually. Ask your students to work in partnerships to draw outlines of two human bodies. Using colored pencils, have them create diagrams of the male and female endocrine systems within the bodies. They can use different colors to depict glands and hormones, and they can draw arrows to show how the different glands and hormones interact with one another and with different parts of the body. Then, have your students come together and share their diagrams, discussing similarities and differences and sharing what they have learned from this experience.

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