4th Grade – Peer Pressure
I spent my time with the 4th grade introducing various peer pressure strategies. I talked about the concept of peer pressure in the Under Whose Influence lesson (we read a story about a middle school girl that was peer pressured to drink alcohol at a friend’s house), and I followed that discussion up with some specific techniques.
The concepts we talked about were:
- Saying No
- Steering Clear
- Walking Away
- Acting like a Broken Record (repeatedly saying No)
- Making an Excuse (which every kid is good at, right?)
- Stating the Facts (about why its a bad idea)
- Reversing the Peer Pressure
I tried to bring each strategy to life by giving some colorful examples. If the kids employ these tactics when they are peer pressured or influenced, they will be in a better position to make good decisions.
5th and 6th Grades – Keep Off the Grass
I talked marijuana with the older grades. There was a ton of information I wanted to cover, but I started by asking the kids what they already knew about marijuana (they had all heard of it, but there were a lot of misconceptions about what it actually is: a plant that contains the drug THC). After that, 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.
I think its important to talk to the kids about marijuana in depth at least once a year, and each presentation builds on the material from the previous year. I emphasized to the kids that no matter what the laws are for adults (they are continually changing), drugs like THC, alcohol and nicotine have been and always will be against the rules for kids. But every kid knows they are not allowed to have it, so I want to spend the time I have in class talking to them about how using these drugs at a young age can damage their potential. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.