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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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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; a work sheet asks students to label real brain images.

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 Matters Series

Mind Matters Series

November 2019

A set of visually appealing booklets—The Brain’s Response to: drugs, marijuana, nicotine, opioids, cocaine, inhalants, methamphetamine, prescription stimulant drugs, and synthetic drugs like K2/spice and bath salts—that explain how the drugs change the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects. 

Grade: 5-9

Mind Matters: Drugs and the Brain

Mind Matters: Drugs and the Brain

November 2019

A visually appealing booklet for students that explains how drugs change the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects. This booklet is part of a series focused on easy-to-understand scientific facts. 

Grade: 5-9

Cocaine

Mind Matters: The Body's Response to Cocaine

November 2019

A visually appealing booklet for students that explains how cocaine changes the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects. This booklet is part of a series focused on easy-to-understand scientific facts.

Grade: 5-9

Inhalants

Mind Matters: The Body's Response to Inhalants

November 2019

A visually appealing booklet for students that explains how inhalants changes the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects. This booklet is part of a series focused on easy-to-understand scientific facts.

Grade: 5-9

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