Activities for engaging students in Biology using animations

Write down or e-mail the urls of the two animations you feel best taught you about action potentials:

Animation #1 url


Animation #2 url




This animation helped me understand …


Animation #1


Animation #2

What an action potential is and how it conducts a signal in our nervous system.



The types and order of gated channels as they open and close during an action potential.



What threshold is and how an action potential is an example of a positive feedback loop.




For each of the following please describe a "feature" from one or more of the animations that really helped you understand that part of the process.


The animation showed how an action potential causes a signal to be transferred down the length of the axon without the ions moving down the length as well by . . .


The animation showed how the neuron resets itself after an action potential . . .


Answer the following in your own words:

 What is the difference between an ion channel and an ion pump?


What is the order of ion movement, and which direction are the ions moving (into or out of the cell)? 


Ion Moving

Into or Out of Cell?


Na+  or  K+

Into  or  Out


Na+  or  K+

Into  or  Out






Please list at least one question that you have about action potentials.


Finally, what features are most important to you about an animation? What makes an animation “good”?


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