Educator Resources

Class Discussion
Establish Prior Knowledge

Direct students to the website below to learn about the pineal gland and how it functions. : 
Call on students to share what they’ve learned.
Tell students that the snapshot they are about to see highlights recent findings about how the pineal gland functions.


Have students watch the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Use the following questions to guide a class discussion.

  • What hormone does the pineal gland make and how does the hormone function?
  • Researchers have discovered that the pineal gland plays a role in 24-hour rhythms for many body functions. What is are some of these body functions?
  • Why do you think the pineal gland signals most body function genes to do their work at night?


  • Do you think this finding will give researchers more insight into the health problems that affect people who have disruptive sleep cycles, such as shift workers and people who frequently travel between time zones? Why or why not?