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Teaching Tool - Be Smart, Don't Start (Grade 3)

The purpose of this activity is for students to become familiar with risks and effects of different types of legal and illegal substance use, while also being aware with how substance use is portrayed in the media.

Learning goals

  • I will know the risks and effects of drugs, including nicotine, caffeine, medications and alcohol
  • I will become aware of safe practices for taking medication and make healthy choices
  • I will understand how substance use may not be accurately shown in the media, such as commercials making it look safe, when it's not

Core knowledge content

Core knowledge content provides the teacher with the background information needed to prepare and teach this health class.

Ontario curriculum expectations

Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2019)

  • D1.3 demonstrate an understanding of different types of legal and illegal substance use and both the mental and physical impacts of problematic use of these substances on themselves and others (substance use, addictions and related behaviours). This specific expectation is also connected to the social emotional learning expectations A1.4 Relationships, 1.5 Self.
  • D2.3 apply decision-making strategies to make healthy choices about behaviours and the use of various substances in ways that could lead to dependencies, identifying factors that should be considered (substance use, addictions and related behaviours). This specific expectation is also connected to the social emotional learning expectations A1.5 Self, 1.6 Thinking.

Learning activities

Let's talk about drugs

In this activity, students will have a conversation about what a drug exactly is. Students will be informed about drugs and medication.

Be smart, don't start

Students will act out scenarios based on various situations and prompts that relate to substance use.

Why I won't start

Students will think of some of their favourite tasks (playing sports, musical instruments, etc.) and then learn about the impacts that drug use will have on their ability to engage in these activities.

I am a media detective

Students will analyse the way drugs are presented in the media by taking on the role of a "media detective".

Supplementary resources

Curriculum connections

Media literacy - Ontario Language Curriculum (2006): I am a media detective

  • 1.1 identify the purpose and audience for a variety of media texts
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