I visited Juan Cabrillo this past Monday and Tuesday. Here is what we covered:
4th Grade: Don’t Let Your Dreams Go Up In Smoke
I talked to the 4th grade about marijuana and THC. I spent the first part of 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 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 – Peer Pressure
I spent my time with the 5th grade talking about various peer pressure strategies. First we identified examples of peer pressure by going through a couple of hypothetical situations involving some mild peer pressure (see picture), and then we talked about more serious situations. After that, talked about some strategies that can be used to deal with peer pressure.
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. We finished the class by going through some more scenarios (see picture) and then letting the kids use the strategies to solve the problem.