Analyzing Drug-Use Data from Monitoring the Future

Using data from the annual Monitoring the Future survey on teens’ self-reported use of drugs, this activity is designed to help students in grades 7 through 12 understand how to obtain, analyze, and interpret data, and to argue from evidence. 


What's in the Lesson Plan:

  • Data from Monitoring the Future
  • NIDA for Teens’ Stats & Trends in Teen Drug Use
  • NIDA’s Drug Facts for teens

Grade Level(s):

7,  8,  9,  10,  11,  12 

Student Skills Targeted:

  • Calculating percentage change
  • Comparing/interpreting data sets (from line charts, tables, and bar graphs)
  • Reading comprehension
  • Critical thinking

Time / Duration:

  • 1–2 class periods


  • Computer with Internet access per 1 or 2 students 
  • Paper and pencils/pens 

Alignment with National Standards:

  • Informed by Common Core State Standards for Math, National Health Education Standards 2 and 3.


  • English

Teacher's Guide

Student Worksheet

Monitoring the Future: Interactive Chart