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.

Drugonyms

Objective
To research factual information about drugs and work as a team to convey that information to the class

Background
For grades 7-9. Students will work in teams to complete a "drugonym"-- an acronym where each letter in a drug name begins a new sentence or short paragraph describing properties of the drug.

Activities

Procedure:

1. Have students first take the American Council for Drug Education's Youth Quiz, as an assessment of prior knowledge. You might print the quiz and distribute to each student, or go through the questions with the class as a whole.

2. Divide the class into teams.

3. Give each team of students 1 or more sheets of large drawing paper or newsprint and markers, as well as the Drug Information Web sites list.

4. Assign each team one or more drug names.

5. Instruct each team to use the letters in the assigned drug name(s) to develop an acronym where each letter begins a sentence or short paragraph that fully describes that drug name. Remind teams that each "drugonym" should include the following information:

• Forms, category, and how taken
• Street or common names
• Other drugs within this category
• Short term effects
• Long term effects

6. Students will spend 1 day researching the drug using the Web and meeting with their group to construct their "drugonym".

7. On the second day, part of the class will be used to finish the activity and the second part of class to present each group's "drugonym" to the class.

8. Post completed posters around the classroom. Arrange according to categories: club drugs, hallucinogens, sedatives, narcotics, amphetamines and steroids.

Classroom Assessment:

Score student work as a combination of group and individual assessment, according to the following 100 point scale:

• Addressed the category and forms of the drug, and how it is taken: 20 points
• Addressed street or common names of the drug: 20 points
• Addressed other drugs within the same category: 20 points
• Addressed short-term and long-term effects on the body: 20 points
• Contributed to group effort: 20 points


Resources
American Council for Drug Education's Youth Quiz
Computers with Internet access
Drug Information Web sites list
Marking pens
Large sheets of drawing paper or newsprint

Teacher Tips
• Students might post their "drugonyms" throughout the school and/or community.
• Students might share their "drugonyms" with local law enforcement officers, or with younger children in an after-school care environment.
• Instead of paper and markers, the "drugonyms" could be designed on the computer and presented on a Smart Board. Students familiar with Power Point might choose that option.

Source
PBS Learning Media

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