I visited St Bede for the 5th time this past Monday, here is what we talked about:
4th Grade: Don’t Let Your Dreams Go Up In Smoke
I spent the first part of the 4th grade class answering questions that immediately popped into the kids head regarding what they have heard about marijuana and THC. After that I had the kids read a story about a boy that started using THC in middle school and the problems that caused him in school and sports. Some of the points emphasized were:
- Marijuana is not a vitamin and its not a benign food.
- Marijuana is a plant that contains the drug THC.
- THC makes your heart beat faster and affects balance, vision and coordination, reaction time and motivation.
- THC makes it hard to remember things and negatively impacts learning.
- Smoking/vaping THC is just as bad for your lungs as smoking/vaping tobacco.
Even though the 4th graders (thankfully) don’t know a lot about marijuana at this young age, almost all of them had heard of it. This 4th grade lesson is the first of many (just see below) that I have with the kids to help them understand the dangers of using THC while their bodies and brains are still developing.
5th Grade: Keep off the Grass
I also talked marijuana with the 5th graders. We watched some clips from a video called “The Marijuana Files” about the ongoing studies into the permanent negative effects of THC on the brains of kids. The show follows two teenage hosts that travel across the country to interview researchers. While we watched the video, the kids filled in a handout that points out the effects of THC on the heart, lungs and brain.
6th and 7th: Marijuana and the Teen Brain (6th) and Edible THC (7th) Part 2
I split the upper grade marijuana lessons into 2 parts this year because there is so much to cover. This time, we finished watching the video presentation from the last visit and then we discussed these facts about THC:
- Marijuana is not a vitamin or a health food.
- Marijuana is a plant that contains the hallucinogenic drug THC.
- THC makes your heart beat faster and disrupts balance, vision, coordination and reaction time.
- THC makes it hard to recall information and negatively impacts learning.
- Kids that use THC may permanently lower their intelligence.
- THC can be just as addictive as any of the other recreational drug.
- Abusing THC can trigger mental illness.
- Smoking/vaping marijuana is just as bad for your lungs as smoking/vaping anything else.
As I wrote in the last entry, I think its important to talk to the kids about marijuana in depth at least once a year, and you can see how each presentation builds on the material from the previous year.If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.