Not Fit for Human Consumption

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about synthetic drugs—drugs created in labs to mimic other drugs, including opioids (example: fentanyl), marijuana (examples: Spice, K2); and cathinones (example: “bath salts”). They also learn why synthetic drugs may be more dangerous than their counterparts and why they are so difficult to regulate. Includes an adapted version for grades 4-6 reading level. 


What's in the Lesson Plan:

  • Student article
  • Student work sheet
  • Vocabulary list
  • Critical thinking questions
  • Writing prompts

Grade Level(s):

6,  7,  8,  9,  10,  11,  12 

Student Skills Targeted:

  • Understanding what synthetic drugs are
  • Understanding the potential risks of using synthetic drugs
  • Understanding challenges with regulation of drugs
  • Critical thinking

Time / Duration:

  • 1 class period


  • Printer/copier for article, worksheet, and vocabulary list

Alignment with National Standards:

  • Common Core State Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • National Science Education Standards
  • National Council for the Social Studies


  • English

Teacher's Guide and Student Worksheet