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 Credibility

To learn how to assess the credibility of information sources, especially older people and those in positions of responsibility.

By grades 7-8, youths have begun to distinguish between the good and bad influences that older people have on them. This lesson helps them to identify the good in people and encourages them to follow only positive, healthy, life-affirming directions from older people and authority figures.

Give each student two popsicle sticks and direct them to create masks from paper, paints, yarn, glitter, glue, and other materials you have on hand. Ask students to make one mask representing someone in their lives whom they respect (examples: parent, teacher, friend, neighbor, doctor, religious leader, Scout leader). Explain that maturing is a lifelong process, and that part of maturing is learning whom to trust. Invite a few students to identify who their mask people are· and why they look up to them. Discuss the following questions:

• What kinds of attitudes and beliefs do these authority figures represent?
• Why do people we respect inspire trust?
• Are they concerned about you and your future?

Ask students to make the second mask represent someone older who asks them to do something wrong or unhealthy (examples: smoke cigarettes, drink beer, take some pills, steal, or lie). Tell the students that they do not have to identify a real person. Discuss the following:

• What kinds of attitudes and beliefs do these figures represent?
• Are they concerned about you and your future?
• What might happen if you did what they asked?
• What would you say in response?
• Are they credible? Why or why not?

Explain that an important part of trust is knowing that the other person has your best interests at heart and would not encourage you to do something that is unhealthy, dangerous~ or harmful.

Two popsicle sticks for each student, colored paper, scissors, paint and paintbrushes, yarn, glitter, glue, other mask-making materials.

Teacher Tips
• Coordinate with a language arts, music, or drama teacher to have students present a masked drama or puppet show for younger students.

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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