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Health Education - 5th Grade
Standard 2 Objective 3
1 class periods of 45 minutes each
Students will predict possible consequences of substance use and analyze how social messages regarding the use of alcohol, tobacco/nicotine and other drugs may misrepresent the negative effects of each.
Lesson at a Glance
1. The Wheel of Misfortune
2. All Tied Up
4. Indiana Jones
No one wakes up in the morning and decides to become [addicted to/nicotine] that day. Habits and addictions are usually slow processes that build up over time. They sneak up without us even realizing what we are getting into. The first time we do something we may not even think much about it, but as the activity is repeated over and over again our body and mind becomes used to it. The problems associated with habits and addictions are usually not ones that occur overnight, but rather one small step at a time.
When you are out of breath and you need to take another one there is no question that you will. You dont sit around thinking about it nor do you delay doing so. An addiction is very similar. You must have whatever it is that you are addicted to. We have watered down the concept of addiction by using phrases such as Choc-o-holic or I need a soda or Ill die. Kids need to know that an addiction can take control over their body and dictate their behavior. The addiction will cause you to do things you normally wouldnt do, just to satisfy the addiction. Everyone does not become addicted at the same rate. Some people are genetically predisposed to certain kinds of addiction. If you parents or grandparents were alcoholics, then you chances of becoming an alcoholic are greater. The length of time needed to become an alcoholic is reduced.
Kids become addicted faster than adults because their bodies have not matured physically yet. Different drugs can also cause you to become addicted faster than others.
When nicotine enters the blood stream it constricts the blood vessels. This causes the blood to flow through a narrower opening. This elevates the bodys blood pressure and causes the heart to work harder. Nicotine may enter the body through the smoking, chewing [or dissolving], or vaping. Switching from cigarettes to chew [or dissolvables] or vaping is not a healthy solution. Other drugs such as speed also constrict the blood vessels and cause the same effects.
After a few rounds of making the circle smaller, they will have exhausted the easy solutions to the problems. No longer will it work to just squeeze in tighter. It is a this point that you may have to mention that they need to start working together and help each other if they are to continue to be successful. At some point the circle will become too small for them to fit the entire class into. Don't let them quit too early; they are capable of more than they think they are. Do not give them too many suggestions or it will take the impact of the exercise away.
The movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, is a good way to close the lesson. When Indiana finds the cavern and is watching the Nazis trying to get the Holy Grail, he is caught and taken to the main group. The leader of the Nazis tried to get Indie to go through the deadly maze and collect the grail. He tells them no. At this point the Nazi commander shoots Indianas father in the stomach. Indiana knows the only way to save his Father is to get the Grail. He uses his wit and knowledge to get to the place where the Grail is.
He is met by a knight who is 900 years old. The knight tells him he must choose wisely. The Nazi leader comes to the Grail chamber too and elects to choose the Grail for himself. He chooses a very elaborate Grail, drinks the water and dies a horrible death. The Knight says He chose poorly.
Indiana then chooses a simple Grail and finds it will heal his father. The knight tells Indiana You chose wisely. Indiana then goes on to save his father. The knight states that the false Grail will bring you death and the true Grail will bring you life.
Students have to choose also, but they need to choose wisely. Choosing tobacco/nicotine products is a poor choice and will take away life. If they choose not to use tobacco/nicotine products their life will not be filled with the diseases, cost, smell and consequences of using tobacco/nicotine.
Remember it is your choice, but choose wisely.
This lesson is part of the Utah State Board of Education Prevention Dimensions program.