Elementary School Curriculum – What is a Drug?

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Video for kids: What Is a Drug?Download PDF Version

Goal and Rationale

The goal of this video, “What is a Drug”, from our Kids series is to teach young children what a drug is, how drugs can be dangerous, and how they can make the right choices when it comes to identifying and rejecting drugs.

By the end of this activity, we hope that kids will be able to:

  • Explain what a drug is.
  • Describe how drugs can be dangerous.
  • Discuss the different types of drugs.
  • Think about the short and long-term effects that drugs can have on people.
  • Consider the different ways that drugs can impact them and their bodies.

Suggested procedure for educators

This video is five minutes and fifty seconds long, as you show the video to your students, pause the video at the 2:30 point to ask students the following questions:

Answer: Drugs are things that people can take that change way our bodies work. Some are medicines that help people when their bodies aren’t working right. They’re usually given by a doctor. But many drugs have no medical use or benefits.

Answer: Some people sell drugs that change the way someone acts or thinks. Some of these drugs can even make the person see or hear things that are not there. We call this a hallucination. These drugs are illegal, meaning you can go to prison if you sell them or have them with you.

Answer: There are lots of reasons why people take these drugs. They might think it can solve their problems; they don’t want to feel negative emotions; they want to do like their friends; they feel they can’t have fun without it; they want to rebel, or they might want them to relax.

After discussing these questions with your students, resume the video. When the video ends, have students answer the following questions:

Answer: Alcohol is a drug. When you take too much, it changes the way to think and the way you see things, and you make bad decisions. It’s okay for adults to drink alcohol, but not too much.

Answer: No! We do not take any drugs unless it is given by a doctor.

Once your students have answered questions 1-5, proceed to a large group discussion using the thematic questions below. Depending on the grade level or age group of your students, you can expect this entire activity including the video take between 20-30 minutes.

Discussion questions

Note: the sample answers below represent potential correct answers and can be used to facilitate deeper discussion with your students.

Answers will vary but could include: Although we do get some drugs from doctors that are good for us, many drugs can be dangerous and should be avoided.

Answers will vary but could include: Medicine is a drug that is usually prescribed by a doctor to help people feel better, but there are certain other drugs that people take that have no benefit and hurt our bodies.

Answers will vary but could include: fear, sadness, uncertainty, confusion, excitement, and/or hope.

Answers will vary but could include: Kids shouldn’t take drugs or alcohol because they are dangerous, we should only be taking drugs that are our doctors tell us we should we use.

Answers will vary but could include: This video helped me understand the different kinds of drugs there are, like hallucinogens, and how we need be smart and not use drugs or alcohol as kids. It also explained to me the different reasons people take illegal drugs.

Note: Teachers, please have your students share their feedback with us using the form linked below, we want to continue to make our message stronger and more effective. Thanks!

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SUPE IS A NONPROFIT PLATFORM FUNDED AND HOSTED BY DRS. IT IS THE DRUG EDUCATION AND PREVENTION SECTION OF DRS & ADDICTED.ORG.

IT WAS CREATED TO FURTHER DRS’ MISSION TO EDUCATE PEOPLE AND TO PREVENT SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER.