Biology KS3 & KS4: The human ear

A visual journey into the ear, looking at both hearing and balance.

Key elements are explained with visuals.

This includes the movement of ossicles against the oval window and the way that the semi circular canals sense orientation.

The 3D visuals are placed alongside real-life footage of a child in Africa learning to walk, using their sense of balance.

This clip is from the series Inside the Human Body.

Teacher Notes

As they watch the clip, students can keep a note of all the parts of the ear and together create a diagram explaining each stage of the process.

An active demonstration of the vibrations travelling through the ear could be created in the classroom, with students lined up acting as different parts of the ear, then a vibration being transferred via movements down the line to reach the brain.

With regards to balance, students could perform exercises that disrupt their sense of balance, such as spinning round a certain number of times, and relating the unbalanced sensation afterwards to what is happening inside the ear at a cellular level.

This could be discussed in terms of confusion between different sensory information.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Biology at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 in Scotland. Appears in AQA, OCR, EDEXCEL, CCEA, WJEC, SQA

More from Inside the Human Body:

How humans see
video
Human circulation
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Human circulatory and digestive system
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Human fertilisation
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Human immunity and defence
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Pregnancy and multiple births
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Skin - defend and protect
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Skin and sweating
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The human eye
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The human heart
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How humans heal themselves
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