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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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 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

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

Virtual Clinical Trials

Virtual Clinical Trials

June 2017

In this interactive game, students use scientific methods and process skills as they learn the how to design a clinical trial, the underlying neuroscience behind the medical advances being tested, and the related careers involved.

Grade: 9-12

Weeding Out the Grass: Brain Power!

Weeding Out the Grass: Brain Power!

July 2016

This module uses science to dispel the myth that marijuana is harmless. Following the lesson, the Challenge activity is a marijuana bingo game. Additional activities include a research-based presentation, a media log, the student magazine, the CD-ROM, and handouts. 

Grade: 6-9

Why Do Plants Make Drugs for Humans?

Why Do Plants Make Drugs for Humans?

July 2016

This interactive module discusses some of the common elements of drugs derived from plants, including cocaine, nicotine, caffeine, THC (the major component of marijuana), morphine, and aspirin.  It teaches basic plant biology, human biology, and chemistry principles by discussing several properties of drugs obtained from plants. This is one of six modules from the Pharmacology Education Partnership.

Grade: 9-12

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