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For the Classroom

Prescription for Trouble

Lesson Plan Grades 6-8 Not My Body!

PURPOSE Students will understand the difference between medical use and illegal abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. They will create a poster of what specific medicines can do to help heal a body when taken under a doctor’s supervision and how the same drugs can hurt a body when misused or abused.

OBJECTIVES Students will:

  • Learn the health risks of drug abuse.

  • Compare and contrast medicinal use and illegal use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

  • Research the effects of specific medicines.

  • Create a life-sized poster of the benefits of correct, supervised use of a specific medicine and the ways it can injure a body if misused or abused.


  • Research/resource materials (from media center, science and/or health books, the Internet if available)

  • List of commonly abused prescription and over-the-counter medicines

  • Pens, pencils, papers

  • Large, long pieces of art or butcher paper, cut to size of students’ bodies.

  • Art supplies

NOTE: This lesson takes two class periods.

PROCEDURE 1. Discuss the documentary by asking, Why is it important for students to know the facts about drug abuse? Why do people abuse drugs? Why do people think that using prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs for “recreational purposes” is better than abusing illegal drugs?

  • 2.

    Distribute the list of commonly abused prescription and over-the-counter medicines that follow. Ask, Has anyone ever taken any one of these medicines because a docto , nurse, parent, or some other adult has instructed you to do so to get relief from some illness? Did it help? How?

  • 3.

    Go through the list and have students check off the medicines that can be found in their family’s medicine cabinet and discuss the intended use for each.

  • 4.

    Break them into pairs (or, if necessary, groups no larger than three) and assign each group a specific medicine from the list. Their task is to take one of the medicines and research the following:

    • Where it comes from

    • Its effect on the human body

    • The medicinal use or uses

    • How it is legally dispensed

    • Common non-medicinal uses

    • Illegal uses

    • Dangers to the human body

  • 5.

    Provide students remaining class time to complete their research.

  • 6.

    On day two, give each group a life-sized piece of paper and have them trace a full-body outline of one of their members. Then, using a science book or other resource, have them label the following: brain, stomach, lungs, spinal cord, heart, muscular system, nervous system, respiratory system.

  • 7.

    On the left side of the body, they will list the specific positive affects of the medicine; on the right side, they will list the possible adverse affects of the medicine if misused or abused. Be sure to connect the words to the correct system or area of the body.

  • 8.

    When they have completed their body maps, display them around the classroom and have the class tour the exhibit.

(continued on next page)

© 2007 CWK Network, Inc.

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