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  • Subject:
  • |
  • Grade(s): 6-8
  • |
  • Duration: Three class periods

Lesson Plan Sections


Students will
  • give a report based on the Drugs & Alcohol section; and
  • create a mural or some other medium that warns of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.


  • Computer with Internet access
  • Poster paper
  • Markers


  1. Discuss with students what they learned from the video, including information they found surprising, unsettling, gross, or meaningful to their lives.
  2. Tell students they are going to prepare group reports and posters (or another type of presentation) on drugs and alcohol based on material found on the Web The reports should include background information and focus on addiction and overcoming an addiction.
  3. Divide the class into groups. Have each visit the, click on "Enter Teens," and then select the section on Drugs & Alcohol.
  4. Have students note the four categories on the Drugs & Alcohol page. Then assign groups to these categories: Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Getting Help.
  5. Have the Tobacco group print out the article "Smoking: Cutting through the Hype"; the Alcohol group print out "Alcohol"; the Drugs group print out "What Teens Should Know about Drugs"; and the Getting Help group "Dealing with Addiction."
  6. Tell students they will base their reports to the class on these articles. Work with each group as they read through their articles; suggest or approve material to eliminate so that reports are long enough so that each student in each group reads part of the article.
  7. When the groups have finished preparing their reports, have them create posters with a message related to their assigned subject. Have them brainstorm ideas for eye-catching illustrations and short, clever messages. If you wish, give them the option of writing and performing a song or a skit or some other type of presentation on their subject.
  8. When the groups have finished with their creative presentations, have each read their reports to the class and then share their poster, song, or other invention.
  9. After all the groups have performed and read their reports, lead a class discussion on the subject of addiction. Have students consider the following:


    • the use of alcohol and other drugs in our society;
    • the availability of these drugs;
    • peer pressure among teens; and
    • the costs of drug use and addiction to society (in terms of monetary value as well as lost productivity, emotional and personal problems, and other issues).

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Discussion Questions
  • Alcohol has been and remains a serious problem for teens, as have drugs. Discuss the reasons you think this is so.
  • Is it true that once a person is an addict, he or she is an addict forever? Support your opinion with facts.
  • Have you ever said that you were addicted to something such as candy, television, video games? Discuss the implications of this statement with regard to substance addiction.
  • Is there a difference between drug abuse and drug addiction?

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Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • Three points: Students showed a clear understanding of the Internet as a research tool; worked cooperatively and creatively in their groups to present a report to the class; actively participated in class discussions.
  • Two points: Students showed an understanding of the Internet as a research tool; worked somewhat cooperatively and creatively in their groups to present a report to the class; participated somewhat in class discussions.
  • One point: Students had difficulty understanding the Internet as a research tool; did not work cooperatively or creatively in their groups to present a report to the class; did not participate in class discussions.

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Definition: Physiological dependence on a drug
Context: Conquering an addiction takes hard work, determination, and a willingness to get help.

Definition: Substances, such as alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, and cocaine, which are unhealthy, and, in some cases illegal, and can lead to addiction
Context: Tens of millions of Americans are addicted to such legal, everyday drugs as alcohol and nicotine.

Definition: Tending to occur among members of a family usually through heredity
Context: Some scientists believe that the compulsion to abuse drugs and become addicted is genetic.

Definition: A group of people of the same age, grade, and social standing
Context: As young people move from childhood into adolescence, they become more dependent upon and involved with their peers.

peer pressure
Definition: The strong influence that young people have on each other
Context: Many adults worry that peer pressure may lead teenagers to experiment with drugs.

Definition: Of or relating to or caused by a toxin or other poison
Context: Alcohol is toxic and can eventually destroy liver cells.

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This lesson plan addresses the following National Science Education Standards : Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Personal health; Risks and benefits

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Amy Donovan, freelance writer and editor

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