Learning about Drugs


Learning about Drugs is a great lesson for explaining the negative effects that drugs can have on people. Students will learn about several types of legal and illegal drugs. They will discover the concept of addiction and how it affects people and society. They will also learn strategies to avoid drug use.

The “Options for Lesson” section contains several additional suggestions for activities and ideas to add to the lesson. One such idea is to invite a recovering drug addict to speak with the class and answer their questions about the effects drugs had on him or her.

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What our Learning about Drugs lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Learning about Drugs teaches students about the importance of avoiding illegal drugs. Students will learn the names of and identify several legal and illegal drugs and explain their effects on people. They will also discover facts about addiction and learn strategies to prevent illegal drug use. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, gather colored pencils, markers, construction or poster paper, and scratch paper. Your students will also need access to the internet for part of the lesson.

Options for Lesson

There are suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page for additional activities or ideas. A few relate specifically to the activity portion. Students could work alone or in small groups rather than in pairs. You could assign different drugs to each pair of students for their posters. Another activity students could do is create a booklet of slogans, excuses to use when asked to do drugs, and so on to share with the class. Invite a doctor or nurse to speak with students about the experiences they have had with seeing overdosed drug users. Alternatively, you could invite a recovering addict to speak with the students and answer their questions.

Teacher Notes

The paragraph on this page gives you a little more information on the lesson overall and describes what you may want to focus your teaching on. It explains that the main focus of this lesson is on the prevention of using illegal drugs and on not abusing alcohol. The blank lines are available for you to write out any thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare.


The Learning about Drugs lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will reinforce students’ comprehension of lesson material in different ways and help them demonstrate when they learned. Use the guidelines on the classroom procedure page to determine when to distribute each worksheet to the class.


Students will work with a partner for the activity portion of the lesson. Using the supplies you provide, they will create a drug prevention poster. The poster should include words, images (drawings or images from other sources), logos, and so on to persuade students not to use drugs or alcohol. In addition, the posters should include ideas that go beyond just saying “no” to drugs. Students should be creative.

Before creating their final copy of the poster, students will sketch their ideas on scratch paper for you to approve. When everyone finishes their posters, they will discuss and respond to the questions at the bottom of the worksheet page.


The practice worksheet splits into two sections. For the first part, students will look at 10 definitions. They will use the terms in the word bank on the right to decide which word corresponds correctly to each definition. The second section requires them to decide whether each of 10 facts relates to tobacco (T), alcohol (A), or painkillers (P).


Like the practice worksheet, there are multiple parts on the homework assignment. First, students will read 15 descriptions and decide which type of drug each statement represents. The second part requires them to match the nicknames to the drugs they represent. The word bank from which they can choose includes marijuana (J), cocaine (C), meth (M), ecstasy (E), and heroin (H). Finally, students will list as many ideas as they can of better choices a person can make instead of drugs or alcohol abuse.

Worksheet Answer Keys

There are answer keys for the practice and homework worksheets at the end of the lesson plan document. Correct answers are all in red to make it easier for you to compare them to students’ responses. Only the last prompt of the homework page should have any variation. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade



State Educational Standards

CSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3–4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2–4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.2, 4, 7

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state

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    Great assignments