Lesson Plans

Transforming Science for Critical Thinkers

Created by : 
UT Health Science Center

Students have the opportunity to expand their critical thinking skills through this series of lessons. They begin by reading an actual published scientific study that was transformed into an age-appropriate format. They must analyze the report, find sources of potential bias, analyze data tables, construct graphs and evaluate the results. Students also have the opportunity to review media reporting on the study for accuracy. The scientific papers that are included cover a range of drug abuse topics, including nicotine, opiates, alcohol, relation of dopamine to addiction, etc.

What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • 7 topics with 2-4 lessons each
  • Teacher guides
  • Grade-appropriate scientific articles
  • Student activities
  • Assessments (for some lessons)

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Science literacy
  • Using empirical evidence and logic to examine scientific research
  • Identifying limitations and advantages of scientific research

Time / Duration: 

  • 2-4 class periods for each topic


  • Computer with Internet access per 1-3 students
  • Printer/copier for student articles, worksheets, pre- and post-assessments

Alignment with National Standards: 

  • National Science Education Standards