Drugs and the Teen Brain

This lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, provides scientific information about teen brain development and the effect of drugs and alcohol use on the brain. Students learn why they are at a greater risk of becoming addicted to drugs than adults. Includes an adapted version for grades 4-6 reading level. 


Lesson Plan Highlights:

  • Student activity sheets
  • Student article
  • Teacher's prompts

Grade Level(s):

6,  7,  8,  9,  10,  11,  12 

Student Skills:

  • Analyzing and interpreting information, data, and/or evidence
  • Critical thinking
  • Understanding brain development and function

Time / Duration:

  • 1 class period


  • Printer/copier for student handouts


  • English

Academic Standards:

    Common Core State Standards

    • RST.1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts
    • W.1. Write arguments to support claims using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence

    National Council for the Social Studies

    • 8. Science, technology, and society

    National Science Education Standards

    • Personal health
    • Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges

    Next Generation Science Standards

    • Information processing
    • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
    • Structure and function

Teacher's Guide and Student Worksheet

Student Article