Lesson Plan and Activity Finder

Find more than 90 FREE classroom lessons, multimedia activities, and more on the effects of drugs and drug use on the brain, body, and life of teens – all funded or created by NIDA.
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Lessons from the Life Science Learning Center - Biology of Drug Abuse and Addiction

October 2015

Six comprehensive lessons explore the biology of drug abuse and addiction. Students participate in hands-on activities that explore a neuron model, simulate the movement of drugs from a mother to her developing baby, analyze the effects of drugs on rat behavior, and investigate the long term effects of drug abuse on brain metabolism. They also use models to illustrate the role of neurotransmitters and receptors in cell communication.

Grade: 9-12

Make a mad, mad, mad neuron

Make a Mad, Mad, Mad Neuron

October 2015

An interactive game that gives teens the opportunity to explore how the brain works by building their own monster neural circuit.

Grade: 6-12

Mapping the Brain

Mapping the Brain

January 2017

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about several common types of brain-imaging technology used by neuroscientists and doctors. This technology serves as a jumping-off point to introduce students to different regions of the brain and ongoing research into teens’ brain development. A student article explains how MRI, fMRI, and PET scans work and how neuroscientists use them in research. A work sheet asks students to label real brain images using information from the article.

Grade: 6-12

Marijuana Facts: Breaking Down the Myths

Marijuana Facts: Breaking Down the Myths

December 2015

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn what researchers have discovered about marijuana’s risks for teens, such as how it can make driving a car unsafe and lead to lower grades. A student article explains marijuana risks, and a work sheet and critical thinking questions encourage analysis.

Grade: 6-12

Marijuana: Breaking Down the Buzz

Marijuana: Breaking Down the Buzz

December 2015

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn the short- and long-term effects of marijuana use. An article and worksheet get students to think critically about trends in marijuana use; additional questions, vocabulary words, and writing prompts help students learn about the science of addiction and the risks of drug and tobacco use.

Grade: 6-12

Marijuana: Download the Facts

Marijuana: Download the Facts

December 2015

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn how the chemicals in marijuana affect the brain to produce a high. Worksheets, writing prompts and class activities help students analyze how marijuana is portrayed in the media.

Grade: 6-12

Meth Mouse

Meth Mouse

October 2015

Multiple interactive games give teens the opportunity to see how methamphetamine affects neurons and their communication.

Grade: 6-12

Military Pharmacology: It Takes Nerves!

Military Pharmacology: It Takes Nerves!

July 2016

This interactive module uses the effects of nerve gas on the body to explore how some drugs and toxins have multiple targets in the body. It uses the nervous system to teach about the characteristics of gaseous toxins that allow them to be absorbed in the body, the routes that toxins take to be distributed throughout the body, and how toxins can inhibit chemical reactions like hydrolysis. This is one of six modules from the Pharmacology Education Partnership.

Grade: 9-12

Mind Over Matter Series

Mind Over Matter Series

October 2015

A set of nine visually appealing booklets—The Brain’s Response to: Cocaine, Hallucinogens, Inhalants, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Nicotine, Opioids, Prescription Drugs, and Steroids—that explain how the drugs change the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects.

Grade: 6-9

Mind Over Matter Series: Anabolic Steroids

Mind Over Matter Series: Anabolic Steroids

July 2016

A visually appealing booklet for students that explains how anabolic steroids changes the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects. The Teacher’s Guide (online and English only) includes background information, lesson plans, and activities. Part of a set of nine booklets—The Brain’s Response to: Cocaine, Hallucinogens, Inhalants, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Nicotine, Opioids, Prescription Drugs, and Steroids.  

Grade: 6-9

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