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Lesson Plans

Not Fit for Human Consumption

Created by : 
Scholastic and the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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): 


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