Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this human body lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 5-11, students explore how body systems work together and help humans survive when in stressful situations. Students will play a set of mini-games in which they send adrenaline to help a character run faster through the woods to escape to safety. The Code Fred Survival mode game is from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Analyze how body systems work together.
  2. Participate in a simulation of the body's response to stress
  3. Identify how the human body adapts to stress.


  • Computers and internet access for BrainPOP
  • Class set of copies for the Graphic Organizer (or allow students to type directly into the form online)


This lesson plan uses a free online game called Code Fred: Survival Mode. The game is best utilized at the end of your unit of study on the human body and body systems, and serves as a great tool for review and reinforcement. We recommend that you preview both the Human Body movie and the Code Fred: Survival Mode game to plan how to adapt the resources for your students' needs.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Play the Human Body movie to provide an overview of how different body systems work together.
  2. Have students work in pairs to complete the Graphic Organizer and reflect on how different body systems affect one another.
  3. Talk with students about their responses on the Graphic Organizer, keying in on any facts students share about what happens to the human body when it's under stress. Guide students to understand the role of adrenaline in the way various body systems respond to stressful situations.
  4. Tell students they will be exploring more about how the human body works through the Code Fred: Survival Mode game. Explain that Code Fred: Survival Mode includes a series of mini-games in which they will send adrenaline to help Fred run faster through the woods to escape to safety. They will explore the system that keeps the body breathing, learn how information travels from the body's senses to the brain instantly, and how the body keeps invaders like bacteria and viruses in check. Each mini-game they complete successfully helps Fred run a little farther toward safety.
  5. Before students begin the game, inform them that after game play, they will need to choose one mini-game within Code Fred: Survival Mode to analyze. Their job will be to compare how the game represents what's happening in the body with the actual body process they've learned about previously in their studies and through the BrainPOP resources.
  6. Provide 10-30 minutes for students to play the game. The longer students have, the more mini-games they will be able to complete and the more choices they'll have about which mini-game to analyze.
  7. Divide students into groups, and instruct each group to choose one of the mini-games they played. Encourage each group to discuss the following questions: Does the mini game accurately represent the body systems and processes covered? If so, how? If not, how would you design the mini-game differently? Encourage students to reference other BrainPOP movies about specific body systems as needed (a list of related movies can be found at the bottom of this page.)
  8. Allow each group to share their thoughts and recommendations. You may want to allow students to record a screencast or quick video of their thoughts and share it on a class blog, Edmodo, or other social media. Another idea is to allow students to sketch out how they would improve the game to make it more challenging or accurate, and share those thoughts with the class.
  9. You can use the Activity and/or the Quiz as part of your assessment of student learning.

Extension Activities:

BrainPOP's Build-A-Body Game and Guts and Bolts Game can be used to extend student learning about the human body. You can view a full list of our Health Games and Science Games to choose the best fit for your objectives.