Learning About Drugs


The lesson introduces students to information related mostly illegal drugs, with a focus on preventing the use of illegal drugs, including the abuse of alcohol.  Many students will be faced with a decision to use an illegal drug, and it is proven that education is helpful in preventing young people from using illegal drugs or abusing alcohol.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to the chemistry of the body or smoking.

Learning About Drugs Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages for Learning About Drugs
  • Homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson introduces students to information related to illegal drugs. The lesson briefly covers the difference between legal and illegal drugs, as well as over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions. Addiction is also described. Then the lesson covers three legal drugs: tobacco, alcohol, and painkillers. Then several illegal drugs are described along with their negative effects. Some of the drugs mentioned are: marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy, among others. The lesson wraps up by discussing that students may be in a situation where they are offered drugs, and it supplies a list of responses they can use to avoid being peer pressured into making a bad choice. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other health lessons.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask students to share everything they know about legal and illegal drugs. This would include names of drugs, the effects of drugs, where drugs can be found, etc.
  2. Allow for responses and sharing. Display a list of responses in two categories- related to legal drugs and illegal drugs.  Ask students if they notice the difference between the two lists.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Learning About Drugs to the class.
  4. Distribute Learning About Drugs content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Encourage students to be creative with the posters and allow Internet access if necessary.  Remind students not to use the slogan, “Just Say No.”  Allow sufficient time for completion, approve rough drafts before allowing final poster completion.
  6. Once completed, the students will share their poster with the class or another pair of students. Display the posters prominently.
  7. Conduct a class discussion related to the activity questions.
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  10. In closing, ask students: What are some of the better choices you can make instead of choosing drugs or alcohol?

Common Core State Standards: 

CSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4,

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.7

Class Sessions (45 minutes): at least 3 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more science resources? Check out our other Science Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade