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TOPIC: Alcohol

CONCEPT: When under the influence of alcohol, you body reacts in various ways. One reaction is that you can't control your movements with as much dexterity as you can when you are sober. This activity will show the loss of muscular control that you experience when under the influence of alcohol.

GRADE LEVEL: High School

Method: Classroom demonstration
Time Frame: 5 minutes plus "Discussion"
Material: A pencil and paper or a piece of chalk and the blackboard, a pitcher of water, and a glass and a towel

ACTIVITY: Bring one student up in front of the class. Have him write his name on the blackboard or on a piece of paper. This is to establish his ability when he is sober. Now to simulate having him under the influence. Spin him around until he is dizzy. When you stop him, immediately have him repeat writing his name. The attempt will not be anywhere near what it was before in either speed or clarity. Repeat with another student.

VARIATION: A second method is to once again have one student up in front of the class. Have him pour water from a pitcher into a glass. Both the pitcher and the glass are to be held in his hands. Now put the pitcher and glass down and spin him to get him dizzy. Immediately upon stopping, hand him the glass and pitcher and have him pour the water in the glass. He will probably spill some, so be sure a towel or something is under the glass.

DISCUSSION: After the demonstration facilitate a discussion utilizing the following questions. Be sure to emphasize that the use of alcohol impacts a persons ability to perform a variety of tasks safely.

Discussion ideas:

  • How did you feel when you wrote your name the first time?

  • How did you feel when you tried to write your name after becoming dizzy?

  • How did you feel when you poured the water the first time?

  • How did you feel when you tried to pour the water after becoming dizzy?

  • What were the signs that we saw showing that the student was impaired?

  • What can these two activities show us about being under the influence of alcohol?

  • Would you want to ride in the car with either of these two people if they were driving? Why not?

  • What kinds of activities that you participate in would be hampered if you participated in them while under the influence? Why?

  • What kinds of jobs would be impossible to perform while under the influence?

  • How drunk would a person have to be before you wouldn't let him drive the car you were riding in? Fly the plane you were flying in?

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