Auditory system - Ear and Disease

Lesson overview

In this lesson students conclude their exploration of the auditory system using Google Expeditions to investigate which auditory system diseases affect different parts of the ear and why.

Learning outcomes
  • To be able to name at least three auditory system diseases / problems and explain their causes and effects

Expedition Prep Checklist

Download the Google Expeditions App on all devices and select the expedition Auditory System, all scenes.

Explore the expedition and locate points of interest (ampulla, lateral canal, posterior canal, superior canal).

Review the video content in the Lesson resources section to update your knowledge and develop some teaching ideas.

Lesson steps
  1. Introduction (10 mins)
    Lead a class discussion: What issues do people have with their ears? Have you suffered from a problem with your ears or balance? What do you think causes these problems?
    Establish prior knowledge of auditory system problems like deafness, ear infections etc. Correct misunderstandings or incorrect use of vocabulary.

    Explain that students will be learning about different diseases and applying their knowledge about the ear to these situations.
  2. Expedition (20 mins)
    Explain the following points of information: Which part(s) of the auditory system is / are affected? What is the role of this / these part(s) of the auditory system? How does their function / structure change if a person has this disease?
    Distribute auditory system diseases and problems cards randomly to students (see Student Sheet, found in the Lesson resources section).

    Students explore the expeditions and identify the scenes relevant to their disease. Students exchange the cards at least 3 times to have information about three diseases / problems.
  3. Activity (30 mins)
    Students write answers to the following questions:
    Which auditory system diseases / problems affect the: cochlea, eardrum, semi-circular canal, auditory or vestibular nerves, brain?
    Students work in pairs and choose one disease to investigate further and produce a poster or leaflet about this disease to be displayed in a Doctor’s surgery.
  4. Extension
    Students research reasons for hearing impairments as well as modern solutions to help people hear again.
    Students watch this TED video about Neil Harbisson, a blind artist who “listens to color”.

    Students watch a 4 minute highlight video of the Channel 4 unreported documentary about Patrick, a 15 year old deaf boy from Uganda who did not have access to sign language his whole life and had never had a conversation with anyone (warn pupils it is quite sad, though positive in the end).

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