Lesson Plans

D'Scerner: Critical Thinking of a Study: Opioids: Prescribing Patterns and Overdose-Related Deaths

Created by : 
University of Texas Health Science Center

Students develop critical thinking skills as they analyze and evaluate scientific explanations about patterns in prescribing opioid pain medicines and deaths related to overdose. They learn the process of creating a scientific study to understand how science works and compare and contrast their analysis with that of traditional media articles. This is one lesson of the seven-part curriculum Transforming Science for Critical Thinkers.


What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • 4 student activities
  • Teacher materials
  • Journal article and transformed plain language article
  • Pre- and post-test

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Science literacy
  • Using empirical evidence and logic to examine scientific research
  • Identifying limitations and advantages of scientific research
  • Comparing and contrasting peer-reviewing findings with that of media articles

Time / Duration: 

  • 4 class periods


  • Printer/copier for articles, worksheets, pre- and post-test

Alignment with National Standards: 

  • National Science Education Standards
  • Project 2061 Standards
  • Healthy People 2010


  • English