Lesson Plan #19
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Understanding the Dangers of
Drugs/Steroids: A Science and Health Lesson
Grades 7 to 12
Language Arts, Journalism, Science, Health, Social Studies,
OVERVIEW OF LESSON PLAN
In this lesson, students examine where one develops his or her
views about health and ways in which teenagers exhibit these
influences, focussing particularly on the rising trend of anabolic
steroid use in athletes and teenagers. Students then participate
in either developing and analyzing a survey of the student body
regarding health and views of fitness or writing a feature article.
MATERIALS AND PREPARATION
1. WARM-UP/DO-NOW: Students respond to the following
questions in their journals:
- What famous person would you say demonstrates the ideal image
of health to you?
- List attributes that this person has that illustrate his
or her health
- How is this person presented in the media?
Students then share their answers. The teacher should list
physical attributes on the board and keep a tally of how often
each attribute is listed. Then, discuss why these attributes
are considered healthy and whether or not it is realistic for
the majority of Canadians to attain such attributes.
2.Students work in small groups to respond to the following
- Without the aid of a dictionary, define health
- What do you consider healthy-looking, and why?
- What do you consider unhealthy-looking, and why?
- Specifically, from where do we develop our ideas of health?
Are any of these ideas inaccurate, and if so, which ones?
- What methods do people use to alter their bodies? In what
way can each of these methods be dangerous, either physically
or mentally, to the person using such methods?
- How does one attain physical health?
Students then share and discuss their answers with the class.
3. Handout to students the article by SNN Reporter to review
focussing on these questions:
- Is the use of anabolic steroid rising in teenagers?
- What might influence teenagers to use drugs and anabolic
- Why do athletes like Ben Johnson and Mark McGwire use steroids
or steroid-like substances when their results are so disputed
and may be dangerous? Does their use of drugs and steroids influence
- What do drugs do to the human body?
Students discuss their answers in class.
4. Students are to conduct research about steroid use among
teenagers and health & fitness through the internet, library
books, magazines and newspapers.
5. WRAP-UP/ HOMEWORK: Divide students into two
groups. One group will develop a survey to be distributed to the student
body regarding health and views of fitness, and the other group will write
a feature article (800-1000 words) containing information regarding
steroid use and its dangerous effects. This article and survey results can
be posted to the school's webpage and as well as published in their own
school newspaper or online youth magazine.
6. Because the groups are working on such different
products, facilitate each group, providing them with the following
Survey group: Students in this group will design a survey
to be distributed to the student body, responded to anonymously,
and analyzed by group members. Students will then publish the
results of their survey on the school's webpage. The survey should
focus on students views of health and fitness (questions to be
gathered through research). To make the survey more statistically
accurate, survey questions should ask students to answer with
responses such as "always, sometimes, never" or to
rank views about health in order of importance. Students should
also include a question about the respondent's gender and a question
about whether or not the respondent participates in athletic
activities. Distribute surveys to as many members of the student
body as possible.
Feature story group: Students in this group will use research
information as the basis for an informational feature story (800-1000
words) about steroid use in young people, young athletes, which
can also be posted on their school website. Students should include
at least the following in their story: a definition of "steroid,"
an explanation of what steroids do to the human body, a discussion
of why steroid use is hazardous, and a list of related resources
(books, magazine or newspaper articles and Web sites) where students
can learn more about steroid use.
Check SNN's Writing Guide for information on doing articles.
Remember the 5W's of News: Who, What, When, Where, Why (and sometimes
How). Use the inverted pyramid style. This means that articles
should be written with the most important information first and
the least important last.
Students will be evaluated based on journal entry response, participation
in small and large group class discussions, and thorough and
thoughtful feature article and distribution of a school-wide
survey about steroid use and overall health.
- Students from both groups can get together to do an information
pamphlet for the school on youth fitness and steroid use.
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