Stories of Painkiller Addiction: Learning About Opioids

Feeling high is not the only side effect of abusing prescription opioids. Middle and high schoolers learn more about specific painkillers, including Fentanyl, Oxycodone, and Clonazepam, as well as their common brand names and extensive detrimental side effects. They then work together to write a persuasive paper about whether or not middle school students should learn about prescription drug addiction and abuse.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Varied components of the resource, including scientific details, health content, and persuasive writing, make it an excellent interdisciplinary lesson
  • Have class members watch the videos on their own, either at home or on individual devices, before returning to the larger group for discussion
Classroom Considerations

  • Details the side effects of various prescription drugs; be sure that your class can discuss possible bodily functions in a mature way
  • Writing prompt is not included in the rubric and is mentioned only in the lesson plan
  • Discusses whether middle schoolers should learn about addiction; if you are teaching middle school, change the prompt to address whether elementary learners should know about drug addiction
  • The second lesson in a series of eight about painkiller addiction
Pros

  • The necessary rubric, teacher reference guide, videos, and informational text are all attached
  • Extension activity prompts class members to design a presentation for younger learners about opioids
  • Connected to Next Generation Science Standards
Cons

  • None