Lesson Plans

The Science of Decision Making and Peer Pressure

Created by : 
Scholastic and the National Institute on Drug Abuse

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students read an article on the science of how the developing teen brain reacts to rewards and peer pressure and explore the real-world implications for teen risk-taking. A worksheet helps students think about responding to peer pressure situations they might face.

What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • Student article
  • Work sheets
  • Critical thinking questions
  • Writing prompts
  • Additional reading selections

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Scientific understanding of how the teen brain makes decisions and reacts to rewards
  • Critical thinking

Time / Duration: 

  • 1 class period


  • Printer/copier for student handouts
  • Internet access for additional reading selections

Alignment with National Standards: 

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


  • English