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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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

Students learn about one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States, marijuana. A goal of this module is to use science to dispel the myth that this drug is harmless. Marijuana has a strong physical impact on the brain and body. For young people, whose brains are still developing, the effects of marijuana are even more serious. 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. This is one of six modules designed for students in grades 6-9 to learn about the brain and the effects of drugs on the body.

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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