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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Critically Thinking About a Nicotine Addiction Study

Critically Thinking About a Nicotine Addiction Study

October 2017

Students develop critical thinking skills as they analyze and evaluate scientific explanations about nicotine addiction and the medication varenicline. They will analyze a scientific study, find sources of potential bias, analyze data tables, construct graphs, and evaluate results. This is one lesson of the seven-part curriculum Transforming Science for Critical Thinkers. 

Grade: 6-8

Drugs and Health Blog: Tobacco, Nicotine, & E-Cigarettes

Drugs and Health Blog: Tobacco, Nicotine, & E-Cigarettes

August 2016

Timely blog posts feature emerging trends and apply the science of drug abuse to real life. The teacher’s guide features classroom activities and discussion questions for use with selected posts to encourage students to think critically about how drugs and drug abuse can affect them.

Grade: 6-10

E-Cigarettes: What You Need to Know

E-Cigarettes: What You Need to Know

May 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students gain a scientific understanding of the known hazards and potential risks of electronic cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in vapor instead of smoke. Activities encourage students to analyze how e-cigarette marketing strategies are designed and how they might influence teens.

Grade: 6-12

Legal Doesn’t Mean Harmless: Brain Power!

Legal Doesn’t Mean Harmless: Brain Power!

July 2016

In this module students learn how nicotine and alcohol cause a number of negative effects on the body and brain, ranging from mild symptoms to addiction. Students will also learn why these drugs are illegal for children and teens. Following the lesson, students will complete a puzzle competition as part of the Challenge series. Additional activities include a mock trial on the legal drinking age, an experiment, 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

Mind Matters: The Brain's Response to Nicotine

Mind Matters: The Body's Response to Nicotine

September 2018

A visually appealing booklet for students that explains how nicotine changes the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects. Formerly referred to as Mind Over Matters, this booklet is part of a series focused on easy-to-understand scientific facts.

Grade: 6-9

Pedigree Investigators

PI: Pedigree Investigator, On the Case of Nicotine Addiction

October 2015

Interactive game uses nicotine addiction to provide students with the opportunity to explore the role of genetic susceptibility in addiction.

Grade: 6-12

Science Education Enhances Knowledge (SEEK) About Tobacco

October 2015

Students participate in missions and problem solve to learn the science behind nicotine addiction, the contributions by various kinds of tobacco products to the development of cancer, and the role of marketing in tobacco product use. A virtual lab activity challenges students to determine whether compounds in tobacco can cause DNA mutations in a strain of bacteria (Serratia marcescens).

Grade: 9-12

Starnet: Investigating Smoking Behavior

October 2015

Students develop their own research study by developing hypotheses about genetic and environmental factors that might be associated with smoking behavior and analyzing data from a smoking behavior database to answer their study questions. Along the way students learn basic skills about study design and about the environmental and genetic factors that may contribute to smoking behavior.

Grade: 9-12