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Lesson Plan and Activity Finder

Find FREE science- and standards-based classroom lessons and multimedia activities on teens and drugs – all funded or created by NIDA.
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Straight Talk on Prescription Drugs

Straight Talk on Prescription Drugs

May 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn why prescription drug abuse is dangerous, even though prescription drugs are beneficial when used properly. A student article includes an interview with Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of NIDA, that highlights the risk of addiction to prescription drugs. Discussion questions and writing prompts encourage students to think critically about common myths about prescription drug abuse.

Grade: 6-12

Stressed Out?

Stressed Out?

February 2017

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about how the body’s stress response system works and the health consequences of ongoing stress. They also learn about healthy ways to manage stress and why using drugs or alcohol to try to cope with stress is a bad idea. 

Grade: 6-12

The Awesomely Evolved Human Brain

December 2019

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about the brain's ability to make predictions and solve ambiguities and how drugs might compromise these capabilities.

Grade: 6-12

The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology Through the Study of Addiction

October 2015

The high school curriculum offers research-based information on various aspects of drug abuse and addiction, including neurobiology, behavioral components, and treatment.The five-lesson curriculum focuses on the science of how drugs affect the brain and features a video with interviews by leading scientists in the area of drug abuse research, treatment experts, and recovering drug addicts and animations to illustrate the effects of drugs.

Grade: 9-12

The Pharmacology Education Partnership

October 2015

This interactive series helps high school students learn biology and chemistry concepts in the context of topics that are relevant to them.  It consists of 6 inquiry-based modules that incorporate principles of biology and chemistry.  It includes student handouts and animations that help bring the science to life.

Grade: 9-12

The Real Risks of Marijuana

The Real Risks of Marijuana

January 2020

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students will understand the health risks associated with Marijuana use. 

Grade: 6-12

The Science of Decision Making and Peer Pressure

The Science of Decision Making and Peer Pressure

May 2016

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.

Grade: 6-12

The Science of Marijuana: How THC Affects the Brain

The Science of Marijuana: How THC Affects the Brain

December 2015

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about different areas of the brain, such as the amygdala and cerebellum, and how marijuana affects them. Illustrations show how the body’s endocannabinoid system transmits chemical messages. The lesson includes a student article, work sheet, and critical thinking questions.

Grade: 6-12

Toxicity Testing: The Effect of Chemicals on Radish Seeds

March 2020

In this experiment, students perform toxicity tests on seeds, paying careful attention to the dose and concentration of chemicals.  

Grade: 6-12

Transforming Science for Critical Thinkers

Transforming Science for Critical Thinkers

June 2017

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. 

Grade: 6-8

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