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TOPIC: Drugs

CONCEPT: When we talk about the effects that a certain drug will have on the body, many times we zero in on one or two effects that will be most pronounced. For examples, with tobacco it might be lung cancer or with LSD it might be hallucinations. Kids are beginning to point to certain effects from certain drugs without realizing that there are many effects from each drug. Some effects may be more noticeable than others. But when you start putting them together they have a tremendous overall effect on the body. Also since each person reacts differently to certain drugs, we don't know for sure which affect will be most prominent in an individual.

GRADE LEVEL: High School

Method: Class room activity
Time Frame: 20 minutes plus "Discussion"
Material: 1 quarter for each team of five, 1 spoon for each team, 2 tennis balls for each team, 1 book for each team, and masking tape


ACTIVITY: Put masking tape on the floor to designate the starting line and the turn around line. The distance between the two lines should be about fifteen feet. Divide your group into teams of five. Have them line up in single file lines behind the starting line. This activity will be run as a relay race. The round is not over until every team has completely finished. There are five rounds to the race. Have the teams stop after each round and you will give them further instructions. If someone drops an object during the race, they must return to the masking tape line they just left and start again.

Round one: Have them race with a book balanced on top of their head.

Round two: Have them race with a tennis ball between their knees.

Round three: Have them race while holding a tennis ball balanced on a spoon.

Round four: Have them race while squeezing a quarter in one of their eyes.

Round five: Have them race while doing all four actions at the same time. In this round each person will have a book on their head, a tennis ball between their knees, will be holding a tennis ball in a spoon and have a quarter in one eye.

DISCUSSION: After the demonstration facilitate a discussion utilizing the following questions. Make sure that the students realize that not everyone reacts the same to all drugs and that it is impossible to predict how one will react because of different genetic body types and not knowing the exact make-up of the substance.

Discussion ideas:

  • How hard was it to race with the book on your head?

  • How hard was it to race with the tennis ball between your knees?

  • How hard was it to race with the tennis ball on the spoon?

  • How hard was it to race with the quarter in your eye?

  • How hard was it to race with all four things at once?

  • Which one was the hardest one for you to do?

  • Was this the same for each person?

  • Do drugs have just one effect on our body? Explain.

  • Are all effects equal on our bodies? Explain.

  • Does everyone have the same effect from a drug? Why or why not?

  • Can we predict what effect a drug will have on each person? Why or why not?

  • What can this activity tell us about drugs and our bodies?

  • What message can this activity give us about why we should avoid drug use?

  • If the use of a single drug is harmful, what would using two or more drugs at once do to us?

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