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

To be able to critically assess the information received from popular movies, television, and music.

Children in grades 4-6 are developing an interest in music and definite likes and dislikes about television programs. Most watch television unsupervised, may be able to select movies for use on their home television, and may be going to movies alone or in groups. Listening to music and watching television and movies are enjoyable and relaxing, but because movies, television, and popular music are powerful sources of information and misinformation, they can greatly influence children's beliefs and values. Children at this age must learn to analyze messages from these powerful sources as they enjoy them.

Divide the class into three groups. Label one group Movies, one Television, and one Music. Select a person in each group as moderator. Have each group discuss (in a free-wheeling way) what they like and do not like about the type of medium the group represents.

Then direct students to talk about what they learned from a specific movie, television program, or piece of music. If students mention the same movies, programs, or music, have them determine whether they learned the same things from them.

Assign students to watch the same television program (they may choose which one) or listen to the same album or song (they may choose which one). In a subsequent class, discuss what messages students discerned from the television program or music, what they found confusing, what they thought was accurate or inaccurate, and what they liked or disliked and why. Discuss what students learned through this activity.

Three large, printed labels for Movies, Television, and Music.

Teacher Tips
• Students may need examples or have trouble agreeing on what to watch on television. This is your chance to suggest a prime-time program that has a healthy focus or an educational message.

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

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