Lesson Plans

Military Pharmacology: It Takes Nerves!

Created by : 
Duke University Medical Center, The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

This interactive module uses the effects of nerve gas on the body to explore how some drugs and toxins have multiple targets in the body.  It uses the nervous system to teach about the characteristics of gaseous toxins that allow them to be absorbed in the body, the routes that toxins take to be distributed throughout the body, and how toxins can inhibit chemical reactions like hydrolysis. This is one of six modules from the Pharmacology Education Partnership that helps high school students learn biology and chemistry concepts through the study of drugs.

What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • 1 interactive module
  • Teacher instructional guide and notes
  • Content background information
  • Student handout
  • Classroom activities
  • Additional Resources

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Knowledge of the basic structure of the nervous system
  • Understanding of the difference between reversible and irreversible chemical reactions
  • Knowledge of how the brain governs breathing.

Time / Duration: 

  • 1-2 class periods


  • Computer with Internet access per 1 or 2 students
  • Printer/copier for printable module worksheet and answer guide

Alignment with National Standards: 

  • Next Generation High School Physical Science Standards
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Benchmarks for Science Literacy


  • English