Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Assessing Information

Objective
To learn how to assess the credibility of sources of information and requests.

Background
Children in grades 4-6 still tend to trust adults, and they need help in figuring out whether information and requests from adults are appropriate. To become independent and make wise, healthy, and safe decisions, children must learn how to assess the credibility of sources of information, advice, and requests. Skills that help children assess whom to listen to and whom to believe promote selfprotective attitudes and enhance children's self-esteem by reinforcing the idea that they can make good decisions. By learning how to assess the credibility of sources, they will be able to say no more easily and will be less likely to do something (such as try drugs) because someone older, bigger, or richer invited or told them to.

Activities
Using advertisements (especially ones related to children) from newspapers and magazines, discuss why some advertisements are effective and others are not. Ask the following questions:

• What is the ad selling?
• What information, advice, or request is presented?
• How credible is the message?

Ask the children to offer examples of messages, thoughts, or ideas that they have found confusing and discuss why the children found them so. Focus attention on the source of these confusing messages and discuss the reliability of the source.

Resources
A supply of newspapers and magazines from which students can clip advertisements.

Teacher Tips
• Children need reminders about assessing the reliability of sources, so plan to repeat this lesson or some modification of it at each grade level.

• Be prepared to explain the first example or two of advertising messages so that students can understand what you are looking for.

Source
Learning to Live Drug-Free, A Curriculum Model for Prevention, U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program

2490 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145 | Phone: 800-705-8997

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