Estimated Time: 100 minutes
Using a variety of resources, students will explore the impact and implications of personal choices. They will consider the media’s role in the choices people make.
Connections to Financial Literacy
Connections to financial literacy can be made as students learn about healthy living - for example, the impact of alcohol abuse on both health and finances and the influence of the media on food choices. Such learning opportunities can be linked to the living skills, which are integrated across all strands of the health and physical education curriculum. The living skill expectations address personal skills (self-awareness and self-monitoring skills; adaptive, coping, and management skills), interpersonal skills (communication skills; relationship and social skills), and critical and creative thinking skills (e.g., setting goals, solving problems, making decisions, evaluating choices). The following expectations provide a context for exploring the financial implications of choices, using these skills.
C. Healthy Living
C1. Understanding Health Concepts
Substance Use, Addiction, and Related Behaviours
- C1.2 describe the short- and long-term effects of alcohol abuse, and identify factors that can affect intoxication
C2. Making Healthy Choices
Substance Use, Addiction, and Related Behaviours
- C2.3 demonstrate the ability to apply decision-making, assertiveness, and refusal skills to deal with pressures pertaining to alcohol use or other behaviours that could later lead to addiction (e.g., smoking, drug use, gambling)
Connections to financial literacy can be made in Science and Technology when exploring short- and long-term financial implications of using various consumer products and of choosing various options for conserving energy and resources. Financial literacy skills are also developed as students explore the financial costs and benefits of various choices from different perspectives.
Science and Technology
Understanding Life Systems
1. Relating Science and Technology to Society and the Environment
- 1.2 evaluate the effects, both beneficial and harmful, of various technologies on human body systems, taking different perspectives into account
At the end of the lesson students will be able to
- identify the effects of alcohol on the human body
- identify the cost (financial and personal) associated with various addictions
- state the difference between positive and negative personal choices
- understand that different choices have different outcomes
- identify the difference between short-term and long-term effects
- use personal problem solving strategies when faced with peer pressure or invitation
- understand the impact of the media on people’s choices
Instructional Components and Context
It is recommended that students should have completed, or be in the process of completing the human body Science and Technology unit. It is recommended that students be familiar with the long and short term effects of smoking. Students should have an understanding of healthy choices and how those choices can have positive and negative effects on the human body. Supplemental health resources on addiction would also be valuable to deepen students’ understanding.
Health and Physical Education
Chart paper and markers
BLM #1 Effects of Addiction
BLM #2 Links to Advertisements as a Resource
BLM #3 Student Reflection Sheet: Media and Addiction
Whole Class/Small Groups > Effects of Healthy Choices vs. Unhealthy Choices
Review with students what they consider to be a healthy choice for their body. Create a T-chart on the board to record these choices. Prompt: Having a healthy body requires making good choices. What might be an example of something you can do to maintain a healthy body? (e.g. eating fruits and vegetables, getting enough sleep, exercising, etc.) Record these ideas under the appropriate heading (“healthy choices”).
Next, ask students to identify choices that would be considered unhealthy for their body. Prompt: What would be an example of an unhealthy choice for your body? (e.g. smoking, eating junk food, not being active, etc.) Record these ideas on the other side of the T-chart. Share with students that you will be talking about choices, and the effect those choices can have on the human body.
Explain to students that some choices have an effect on both the human body and on their finances. Write the word “addiction” on the board or on chart paper. Invite students to define what addiction is.
After this brief discussion, addiction should be defined as: abnormal need for something. Addiction can also be viewed as a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Pleasure and enjoyment would have originally been sought; however, over a period of time involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal.
Ask students to brainstorm a list of things people could be addicted to. Prompt: Can you provide me with an example of something that a person might be addicted to? (e.g. smoking, alcohol, drugs). Remember to include more unusual examples such as exercise, food or even shopping and record these on the board. Make sure students are clear that addiction does not simply occur with substances, but also activities. Sort the brainstormed list into two categories so that students have the opportunity to differentiate between “substances” and “activities.” Explain to students that addictions have consequences both physically and financially.
Divide students into small groups and give each group a large piece of chart paper and markers. Assign a specific type of addiction to each group and ask them to brainstorm how they think an addiction to that substance/activity would effect the body and a person’s finances. Use the following addictions for this activity (you made need to give more than one group the same topic):
They may choose to record their answers in the form of a T-chart or another type of graphic organizer. Prompt: Addiction affects an individuals body and finances. What might that look like, sound like, and feel like?
Background information for teacher: please see BLM #1 Effects of Addiction for a complete list of the physical and financial consequences of these addictions.
Provide ample time necessary for brainstorming, then give students an opportunity to share their lists. Referencing BLM #1 Effects of Addiction, assist students in adding to their list by providing them with additional information regarding their type of addiction. Encourage the students to support the brainstorming process by adding their own ideas and suggestions. Post the lists for reference in the classroom.
Connections: Provide students with opportunities to find more information about addictions through a variety of websites including: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Information about Drugs and Addiction http://www.camh.net/About_Addiction_Mental_Health/Drug_and_Addiction_Information/index.html
Differentiation: Some students might require visual representations when categorizing healthy and unhealthy choices. Drawing images or having them available to put with verbal brainstorming may enhance understanding for students. Some students may choose to work independently on the small group activity.
Assessment for learning: During the small group activity, engage in discussion with small groups while visiting each group. It is recommended that you make anecdotal notes and observations during conferencing, as well as when students are presenting their ideas. Students experiencing difficulty demonstrating an understanding of the concepts may require smaller guided group activities to reinforce learning.
Pairs/Whole Class > Messages in the Media
Students will apply their previous understanding of addiction from Minds On to activities regarding media persuasion techniques. Students will work orally with peers and then discuss with the class, the effectiveness of advertising about addictive substances/activities.
Place students into pairs and distribute an advertisement using BLM #2 Links to Advertisements as a Resource. After viewing the advertisements with their partners, debrief the activity with the class.
Key Questions for Discussion:
Who is the target audience for this ad? Why?
Is this an effective advertisement? Why or why not?
What might be the health/financial implications if someone became addicted to the substance/activity being advertised?
Ask students to respond to the above questions either orally or in written form. Invite each pair to share with the class their advertisement and responses. Prompt students in order to elicit thorough responses, and provide feedback in order to prepare for the consolidation activity. Feedback should use the following criteria:
- the target audience is identified with reasoning
- the effectiveness of the ad has been identified and explained
- the health implications are identified
- the financial implications are identified
Connections: Provide opportunities for students to view commercials about addiction that could either be pre-screened by the teacher or students may research in the computer lab or at home. Students will use their learning from the Minds On section about specific addictions to identify the impact of media on these addictions.
Differentiation: Mindful consideration will need to be exercised when grouping students according to their learning needs. In some cases, an alternate location might support better pair communication. Also, students should have the opportunity to respond to the key questions in oral or written form.
Assessment for learning: Students’ oral presentation to the class will be assessed using anecdotal notes.
Individual > Personal Interpretation
Invite students to respond individually to an advertisement using the key questions from the previous activity.
Give students an advertisement (see BLM #2 Links to Advertisements as a Resource) and BLM #3 Student Reflection Sheet: Media and Addiction. Ask students to respond independently to the advertisement using the response sheet.
Connections: Reference will be made to prior work on the effect of addiction and the media influence to support that addiction. Alternatively, students could choose to create their own advertisement for an addictive substance or activity, following the same key questions found in BLM #3 Student Reflection Sheet: Media and Addiction.
Differentiation: Some students may require a scribe for the written reflection.
Assessment of learning: Student’s independent written reflection will be evaluated using BLM #3 Student Reflection Sheet: Media and Addiction.