Endocrine System Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Endocrine System
  • 0:24 Endocrine System…
  • 0:43 Pituitary Gland
  • 1:11 Thyroid and Adrenal Glands
  • 1:49 Pancreas and Other Glands
  • 2:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Expert Contributor
Nicola Taccone

Honours Bachelor of Physical and Health Education with a minor in English, Bachelor of Education, and Master's degree in Professional Kinesiology.

Your endocrine system is made up of glands that release essential hormones. In this lesson, learn about the parts of the endocrine system, including the pituitary gland, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, and reproductive glands.

Endocrine System

Did you know there's a system in your body that acts just like the teacher in your classroom? Your endocrine system is your body's teacher. It gives organs and other parts of your body instructions so they know what to do. Just like your teacher controls activities in your classroom, your endocrine system controls many activities inside your body, like how quickly you grow and how your body uses food.

Endocrine System Function & Parts

Your endocrine system is made up of glands that release hormones into your blood. Hormones are chemicals that carry instructions, telling your body parts what to do. Hormones use your bloodstream to move around.

There are many endocrine glands spread around your body, and some glands are only in females while others are only on males. Let's take a look at the major glands.

Pituitary Gland

Hidden underneath your brain is a small endocrine gland that's no bigger than the size of a pea. It's called your pituitary gland. There's a funny thing about it being so small - it makes a hormone that makes you grow big! That hormone is called growth hormone.

Another funny thing about your tiny pituitary gland is its nickname. It gives out so many instructions that it's nicknamed the 'master gland.' You might want to think of your pituitary gland as the head teacher or principal of your body. It's an endocrine gland that tells the other endocrine glands what to do.

Thyroid and Adrenal Glands

Your thyroid gland is another endocrine gland. It sits in front of your throat, down around where the collar of your shirt would be. Due to its shape and location, it's often compared to a bow tie. Your thyroid makes hormones that help your cells use energy. As a kid, your thyroid hormones play an important part in helping your nervous system and bones grow and develop.

Your adrenal glands sit right on top of your kidneys. They make your kidneys look like they're wearing helmets. Your adrenal glands make the hormone adrenaline, which prepares your body for something scary or exciting. Have you ever heard of an adrenaline rush? It's a term that people use to describe the excited feeling that comes when they do something brave, like riding a bike down a steep hill.

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Additional Activities

Glands of the Endocrine System and their Functions

Create a Model of an Endocrine Gland

Select one of the following endocrine glands:

  • Pituitary gland
  • Pineal gland
  • Thymus gland
  • Thyroid gland
  • Adrenal glands
  • Pancreas

Once you have selected an endocrine gland, research what this gland looks like and create a model. Your model should also illustrate the important functions of the gland. For example, if the gland releases a specific hormone, illustrate this on your model. Label all of the important structures illustrated on your model. Some suggested materials for your model include: paper, cardboard, plastic containers, markers, balloons, pipe cleaners, craft sticks, etc.

Provide Information About the Endocrine Gland

Once you have created your model, research and provide written answers to the following questions.

  1. Where is the endocrine gland you selected located in the body?
  2. What are the major functions of this endocrine gland in the body? Why is this important?
  3. What controls the actions of this endocrine gland in the body?
  4. Does this endocrine gland work with any other structures in the body (for example, another endocrine gland)?
  5. What can happen if this endocrine gland does not function properly?
  6. What do all endocrine glands in the body have in common?

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