Brain Anatomy: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Lauren Scott

Lauren has a Master's degree in special education and has taught for more than 10 years.

Our brain helps us do everything - it enables us to breathe, keeps our heart beating, helps us ride a bicycle, allows us to see color, and so much more. Learn about the different parts of your brain and the jobs they perform.

Brain Basics

Your brain weighs about 2-3 pounds, and it may be the most important 2-3 pounds of your body! The brain controls every action and activity. It is responsible for our breathing, our heartbeat, and even our thoughts and feelings. People have been fascinated by the brain for centuries, but scientists are just beginning to unravel its mysteries.

The Three Major Parts of the Brain

The brain is made up of three major parts: they are called the brain stem, the cerebellum, and the cerebrum.

The brain stem connects the base of the brain to the spinal cord. It's the part of the picture below that looks like a stem. The brain stem is important in keeping you alive. It controls critical functions like your heart rate, breathing, and sleep/wake cycles.

The brain stem connects to the cerebellum. This part of the brain is responsible for muscle control, balance, and coordination. It helps you with everything from playing sports to writing your homework.

Diagram showing some of the main areas of the brain
brain regions

The largest part is called the cerebrum. The cerebrum is divided into different parts called lobes. Each lobe has its own job to do, but all of the lobes work together to help us respond to the world around us.

The Lobes

If you look down on a human brain from overhead, you will notice that it appears to be divided in half. These sides are the left and right hemispheres of the cerebrum. They are connected in the middle.

The left and right sides of the cerebrum are joined in the middle
cerebrum

Each lobe has a right side and a left side. The very front of the brain is made up of the frontal lobe. This lobe helps you plan your day, stay organized in school, and keep your feelings under control.

The parietal lobe sits just behind the frontal lobe, stretching from the middle to the back of the skull. It allows you to notice touch, heat, cold, and pain. If you touch a hot stove, it's your parietal lobe that lets you know.

The cerebrum is made up of parts called lobes
brain lobes

The temporal lobe sits just behind and above the ears. It serves an important role in hearing and memory. If you've had the same song stuck in your head all day, thank your temporal lobe!

Finally, the occipital lobe is in the back of the skull, just above the neck. It makes sense out of the things we see, like shapes and colors. Look around the room for a minute - what do you see? A desk, a rug, or a chair perhaps? You can thank your occipital lobe for identifying those things for you.

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