Helping schools

Helping Schools in Tanzania
Cross-cultural, multi-directional learning (Tanzania)

From chocolate to alcohol—from cannabis to opium. Drug use is a human phenomenon. Likewise, games of chance and gambling appear to be as old as human history and are found in every culture. We can help students develop drug and gambling literacy—the knowledge and skills they need to survive and thrive in a world where drug use and gambling opportunities are common. But we need to focus on exploring meaning, not just learning facts. 

Helping students think about drugs and gambling. 
Helping students talk about drugs and gambling. 
That's what it's all about!

New Resources!

iMinds and other instructional materials

Drugs and gambling touch virtually every aspect of human life. The opportunities for education are equally diverse. Drug- and gambling-related instructional resources are listed below. We encourage you to use and adapt these learning ideas to fit into your lesson planning and classroom situation.

By grade

Grade 4

Explorers All – in this 5-lesson unit from iMinds, students become “explorers” who seek out and examine the benefits, risks and harms related to drugs and a range of options for managing everyday problems. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

Tout Explorer – dans ce module de 5 leçons iMinds, les élèves deviennent des « explorateurs » qui recherchent et examinent les avantages, les risques et les inconvénients de la consommation de médicaments, de caféine et d’autres drogues. Les élèves explorent également une gamme d’options pour gérer les problèmes quotidiens et réfléchir à vers qui ils peuvent se tourner si ils ont un jour besoin d'aide. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d’apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Grade 5

L’Île aux Gâteries  dans ce module de 5 leçons iMinds, les élèves participent à des tâches qui les encouragent à comparer le rôle du sucre dans notre société avec le rôle des médicaments et autres drogues. A la fin du module, les étudiants en savent plus sur les techniques de gestion autonome et sur la façon de trouver de l'aide pour résoudre les problèmes. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d’apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Treat Island – in this 5-lesson unit from iMinds, students compare the role of sugar in our society with the role of medications and other drugs. By the end of the unit, students know more about self-management techniques and how to find help with problems. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

We Are All Change Makers - this iMinds lesson idea explores school connectedness and student engagement through an applied inquiry based on a Margaret Wheatley poem. teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Grade 6

Becoming a Detective – through this 6-lesson module from iMinds, students learn how to be detectives. They examine “clues” about the potential influences on a young person’s behaviour in order to solve a case involving three students who keep falling asleep in class. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

Devenir un détective – avec ce module de 6 leçons iMinds, les élèves apprennent comment être des détectives. Ils examinent des "indices" sur les facteurs qui peuvent influencer le comportement des jeunes afin de résoudre un cas impliquant trois étudiants qui n'arrêtent pas de s'endormir en cours. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d'apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers  this iMinds instructional idea is based on the story of Philippe Petit's daring high wire performance between the Twin Towers in New York City. It provides a great background for exploring several themes relevant to building drug literacy.

Rat Park  this iMinds instructional idea uses popular presentations of Professor Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park" experiments to help students explore how the physical and social environment impact health and well-being, including drug use. Students are encouraged to be active in shaping these environments.

We Are All Change Makers - this iMinds lesson idea explores school connectedness and student engagement through an applied inquiry based on a Margaret Wheatley poem. teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Grade 7

Ancient Peoples and Psychoactive Plants – this 6-lesson module from iMinds is designed to help students learn about the role alcohol and other drugs have played in human history and society. Module includes background material, lesson plans, black-line masters and a supplementary text.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers  this iMinds instructional idea is based on the story of Philippe Petit's daring high wire performance between the Twin Towers in New York City. It provides a great background for exploring several themes relevant to building drug literacy.

Peuples anciens et plantes psychoactives – ce module de 6 leçons iMinds est conçu pour aider les élèves à en apprendre davantage sur le rôle que l'alcool et d'autres drogues ont joué dans l'histoire humaine et la société. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d’apprentissage, des documents à reproduire et un texte complémentaire.

Rat Park  this iMinds instructional idea uses popular presentations of Professor Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park" experiments to help students explore how the physical and social environment impact health and well-being, including drug use. Students are encouraged to be active in shaping these environments.

We Are All Change Makers - this iMinds lesson idea explores school connectedness and student engagement through an applied inquiry based on a Margaret Wheatley poem. teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Grade 8

A Downside to the Printing Press? – this iMinds lesson idea encourages students to reflect on how technological inventions such as the printing press might be both a blessing and a curse. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

The Gin Craze – this iMinds lesson idea encourage students to critically examine the complex of factors that led to a new pattern of drinking, associated with gin, in 18th-century London. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

King James Trash Talks and Taxes Tobacco – this iMinds lesson idea looks at how King James I tried hard to reduce tobacco usage, not only by writing A Counterblaste to Tobacco but also by introducing a massive tax increase in 1604. Students are encouraged to reflect on the various ways to influence drug use and prmote health. A teacher's guide is provided along with three student handouts: King James Trash Talks ...Anti-Smoking: Then and Now and A Cash Crop for Virginia.

Leaves of the Land: A Quick History of Coca – this iMinds lesson idea explores how drugs and drug use can be linked to social and cultural status and identity. Students are encouraged to reflect on the role of alcohol and other drugs in their community and culture. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

The Lightning Thief - an iMinds teacher's resource for engaging students in thinking about gambling based on the fantasy novel by Rick Riordan.

Médias et culture adolescente – un module de 6 leçons iMinds dans lequel les élèves deviennent des spécialistes du comportement qui étudient les médias et leur influence sur le comportement des adolescents. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

A Natural High – this iMinds lesson idea explores the high that can sometimes accompany jogging and has led to the creation of the term, “runner's high.” A teacher's resource provides discussion starters and suggestions for linking to a unit exploring students' feelings while engaging in physical activities. 

The Outsiders – an iMinds teacher's resource for using S. E. Hinton's novel, The Outsiders, to address drug literacy.

A Social History of Coffee – this iMinds lesson idea examines the history of attitudes toward coffee to explore how attitudes to drugs are culturally determined and to reflect on the significance of this. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

The Ups and Downs of Stress – this iMinds lesson idea suggests ways to help students both understand stress and develop skills in managing it. A teacher's resource and an optional student handout are available.

Grade 9

Alcohol or What? – this iMinds lesson idea draws on excerpts from an historical text to critically assess commonly held beliefs about the role alcohol has played in unravelling Aboriginal cultures since first contact with European explorers and settlers. A teacher's guide and a student handout with excerpts from G. M. Sproat's memoir and one comparing Sproat's observations with those of Bruce Alexander are available.

An Alliance Betrayed – this iMinds lesson idea explores the role of Chief Crowfoot in leading the Blackfoot people and negotiating Treaty 7 with the Canadian government against the backdrop of the whisky trade and its destructive impact on his people. A teacher's guide with links to other resources is available.

Cycles – this film-based resource, developed at UBC, encourages teens to talk openly and honestly about why some young people use cannabis (marijuana). Resources include a 28-min video in English and a version with French sub-titles as well as a facitator's guide in both English and French.

Deal Maker or Deal Breaker – this iMinds lesson idea explores different historical perspectives on the role of alcohol in the North American fur trade. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Divergent – an iMinds teacher's resource that offers suggestions for using Veronica Roth's dystopian novel, Divergent, to address drug literacy.

Listening to Sugar Man – an iMinds teacher's resource that explores drug-related themes in the folk music of Sixto Rodriguez. A student handout is provided.

Lunch with Lenin – a 6-lesson module from iMinds that explores how drugs touch the lives of children. Lessons are based on Deborah Ellis' multi-cultural collection of short stories. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

The Many Wines – this iMinds teacher's resource and a student handout support the use of Rumi's famous poem to explore and build drug literacy.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post – this iMinds teacher's resource draws attention to and provides discussion questions related to several themes critical to the development of drug literacy in the coming-of-age teen novel by Emily M. Danforth. 

A Park or a Cage? – this iMinds lesson idea explores the Rat Park experiments conducted by Prof. Bruce Alexander at SFU in the 1970s to challenge common assumptions about addiction and to help students reflect on the social factors involved. A teacher's resource and an optional student handout are available.

The Perfect High – this iMinds teacher's resource suggests ways to use Shel Silverstein's poem, The Perfect High, to help students explore life, truth and drugs. A student handout is available.

The Power of Music – this iMinds teacher's resource suggests ways to engage students to consider the role that music has played – and continues to play – in the human experience – in society as a whole, as well as in their individual lives. 

Smokes for Soldiers – this iMinds lesson idea provides primary and secondary sources to help students explore tobacco propaganda during WW I. A teacher's resource and a student handout are available.

The Ups and Downs of Stress – this iMinds lesson idea suggests ways to help students both understand stress and develop skills in managing it. A teacher's resource and an optional student handout are available.

Grade 10

Cocoa-nomics: Who Benefits? Who Pays? – this iMinds lesson idea encourages students to explore issues related to the cocoa industry particularly in West Africa where over 70% of the cocoa comes from. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Cycles – this film-based resource, developed at UBC, encourages teens to talk openly and honestly about why some young people use cannabis (marijuana). Resources include a 28-min video in English and a version with French sub-titles as well as a facitator's guide in both English and French.

Debating Drug Policy – this iMinds 6-lesson module (including teachers guide and black-line masters) helps students develop their critical thinking skills while learning about and performing formal debates on the use of alcohol and other drugs. 

Débattre la politique des drogues – ce module de 6 leçons iMindsaide les élèves à développer leur esprit critique tout en découvrant et en prenant part à des débats formels sur la consommation d'alcool et d'autres drogues. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage et des documents à reproduire.

Drugs and Driving – this 6-lesson resource for Grade 10-12 classrooms is designed to promote literacy about the impact of alcohol and other drugs on perception, coordination and other aspects of safe driving. The resource features a range of dialogue-centred learning activities, web apps, and a free iPhone app to inform students as they develop a social marketing strategy for addressing drug-impaired driving in their community. 

Rum and Spirits – this iMinds lesson idea explores the intersection of rum, religion and cultural identity in the Afro-Caribbean experience drawing on history and music. A teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Selling Tobacco to Women – this iMinds lesson idea challenges students to think about the way tobacco and other psychoactive substances are marketed and, in particular, to consider the role of gender in both marketing and social attitudes. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Women and Alcohol – this iMinds lesson idea deconstructs a CBC documentary and other marketing pieces to explore social concepts and health issues related to women and alcohol. A teacher's guide with links to other resources is available.

Grade 11/12

Does War Cause Addiction – For many people, it makes sense that a surge of drug addiction follows the return of soldiers who’ve been physically and mentally traumatized by war, but ... This iMinds lesson idea explores the arguments and considers other possible causes.  A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Friendly Fire – this iMinds lesson idea uses a series of excerpts from the book War and Drugs to examine the role drugs played in the 2002 friendly fire incident in which four Canadian soldiers were killed by American bombers in Afghanistan. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Rum and Spirits – this iMinds lesson idea explores the intersection of rum, religion and cultural identity in the Afro-Caribbean experience drawing on history and music. A teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Smoking the Pipe–Peace or War – this iMinds lesson idea looks at how ceremonial smoking pipes and tobacco were used by many First Nations peoples in North America in relation to both building alliances for war and in making peace. Students reflect on peace-making processes and the role of symbolic objects and actions. A teacher's guide and a student handout as well as a History of Treaty-Making in Canada are available.

The Whisky Rebellion – this iMinds lesson idea, in looking at the opposition to the imposition of a tax on whisky to help finance the debt incurred during the American War of Independence, explores issues of fairness, alcohol taxation and the financing of war. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Women and Alcohol – this iMinds lesson idea deconstructs a CBC documentary and other marketing pieces to explore social concepts and health issues related to women and alcohol. A teacher's guide with links to other resources is available.

By subject

Arts Education

Rat Park (Grade 6/7)  this iMinds instructional idea uses popular presentations of Professor Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park" experiments to help students explore how the physical and social environment impact health and well-being, including drug use. Students are encouraged to be active in shaping these environments.

Éducation physique et santé

Tout Explorer (4e année) – dans ce module de 5 leçons iMinds, les élèves de quatrième année deviennent des « explorateurs » qui recherchent et examinent les avantages, les risques et les inconvénients de la consommation de médicaments, de caféine et d’autres drogues. Les élèves explorent également une gamme d’options pour gérer les problèmes quotidiens et réfléchir à vers qui ils peuvent se tourner si ils ont un jour besoin d'aide. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d’apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

L’Île aux Gâteries (5e année) – dans ce module de 5 leçons iMinds, les élèves participent à des tâches qui les encouragent à comparer le rôle du sucre dans notre société avec le rôle des médicaments et autres drogues. A la fin du module, les étudiants en savent plus sur les techniques de gestion autonome et sur la façon de trouver de l'aide pour résoudre les problèmes. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d’apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Devenir un détective (6e année) – avec ce module de 6 leçons iMinds, les élèves apprennent comment être des détectives. Ils examinent des "indices" sur les facteurs qui peuvent influencer le comportement des jeunes afin de résoudre un cas impliquant trois étudiants qui n'arrêtent pas de s'endormir en cours. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d'apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Peuples anciens et plantes psychoactives (7e année) – ce module de 6 leçons iMinds est conçu pour aider les élèves à en apprendre davantage sur le rôle que l'alcool et d'autres drogues ont joué dans l'histoire humaine et la société. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d’apprentissage, des documents à reproduire et un texte complémentaire.

Médias et culture adolescente (8e année) – un module de 6 leçons iMinds dans lequel les élèves deviennent des spécialistes du comportement qui étudient les médias et leur influence sur le comportement des adolescents. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Débattre la politique des drogues (10e année) – ce module de 6 leçons iMinds aide les élèves à développer leur esprit critique tout en découvrant et en prenant part à des débats formels sur la consommation d'alcool et d'autres drogues. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage et des documents à reproduire.

English Language Arts

English Language Arts 5

We Are All Change Makers - this iMinds lesson idea explores school connectedness and student engagement through an applied inquiry based on a Margaret Wheatley poem. A teacher's guide and student handout are available.

English Language Arts 6

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers  this iMinds instructional idea is based on the story of Philippe Petit's daring high wire performance between the Twin Towers in New York City. It provides a great background for exploring several themes relevant to building drug literacy.

Rat Park  this iMinds instructional idea uses popular presentations of Professor Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park" experiments to help students explore how the physical and social environment impact health and well-being, including drug use. Students are encouraged to be active in shaping these environments.

We Are All Change Makers - this iMinds lesson idea explores school connectedness and student engagement through an applied inquiry based on a Margaret Wheatley poem. A teacher's guide and student handout are available.

English Language Arts 7

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers  this iMinds instructional idea is based on the story of Philippe Petit's daring high wire performance between the Twin Towers in New York City. It provides a great background for exploring several themes relevant to building drug literacy.

Rat Park  this iMinds instructional idea uses popular presentations of Professor Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park" experiments to help students explore how the physical and social environment impact health and well-being, including drug use. Students are encouraged to be active in shaping these environments.

We Are All Change Makers - this iMinds lesson idea explores school connectedness and student engagement through an applied inquiry based on a Margaret Wheatley poem. A teacher's guide and student handout are available.

English Language Arts 8

The Lightning Thief - an iMinds teacher's resource for engaging students in thinking about gambling based on the fantasy novel by Rick Riordan. 

The Outsiders – an iMinds teacher's resource for using S. E. Hinton's novel, The Outsiders, to address drug literacy.

English Language Arts 9

Divergent – an iMinds teacher's resource that offers suggestions for using Veronica Roth's dystopian novel, Divergent, to address drug literacy.

Listening to Sugar Man – an iMinds teacher's resource that explores drug-related themes in the folk music of Sixto Rodriguez. A student handout is provided.

Lunch with Lenin – a 6-lesson module from iMinds that explores how drugs touch the lives of children. Lessons are based on Deborah Ellis' multi-cultural collection of short stories. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

The Many Wines – this iMinds teacher's resource and a student handout support the use of Rumi's famous poem to explore and build drug literacy.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post – this iMinds teacher's resource draws attention to and provides discussion questions related to several themes critical to the development of drug literacy in the coming-of-age teen novel by Emily M. Danforth. 

The Perfect High – this iMinds teacher's resource suggests ways to use Shel Silverstein's poem, The Perfect High, to help students explore life, truth and drugs. A student handout is available.

The Power of Music – this iMinds teacher's resource suggests ways to engage students to consider the role that music has played – and continues to play – in the human experience – in society as a whole, as well as in their individual lives. 

English Language Arts 10

Debating Drug Policy – this iMinds 6-lesson module (including teachers guide and black-line masters) helps students develop their critical thinking skills while learning about and performing formal debates on the use of alcohol and other drugs. 

Rum and Spirits – this iMinds lesson idea explores the intersection of rum, religion and cultural identity in the Afro-Caribbean experience drawing on history and music. A teacher's guide and student handout are available.

English Language Arts/Media Studies 11/12

Rum and Spirits – this iMinds lesson idea explores the intersection of rum, religion and cultural identity in the Afro-Caribbean experience drawing on history and music. A teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Women and Alcohol – this iMinds lesson idea deconstructs a CBC documentary and other marketing pieces to explore social concepts and health issues related to women and alcohol. teacher's guide with links to other resources is available.

Français langue première

Devenir un détective (6e année) – avec ce module de 6 leçons iMinds, les élèves apprennent comment être des détectives. Ils examinent des "indices" sur les facteurs qui peuvent influencer le comportement des jeunes afin de résoudre un cas impliquant trois étudiants qui n'arrêtent pas de s'endormir en cours. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d'apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Peuples anciens et plantes psychoactives (7e année) – ce module de 6 leçons iMinds est conçu pour aider les élèves à en apprendre davantage sur le rôle que l'alcool et d'autres drogues ont joué dans l'histoire humaine et la société. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d’apprentissage, des documents à reproduire et un texte complémentaire.

Médias et culture adolescente (8e année) – un module de 6 leçons iMinds dans lequel les élèves deviennent des spécialistes du comportement qui étudient les médias et leur influence sur le comportement des adolescents. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Débattre la politique des drogues (10e année) – ce module de 6 leçons iMinds aide les élèves à développer leur esprit critique tout en découvrant et en prenant part à des débats formels sur la consommation d'alcool et d'autres drogues. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage et des documents à reproduire.

Français langue seconde - immersion

Devenir un détective (6e année) – avec ce module de 6 leçons iMinds, les élèves apprennent comment être des détectives. Ils examinent des "indices" sur les facteurs qui peuvent influencer le comportement des jeunes afin de résoudre un cas impliquant trois étudiants qui n'arrêtent pas de s'endormir en cours. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d'apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Peuples anciens et plantes psychoactives (7e année) – ce module de 6 leçons iMinds est conçu pour aider les élèves à en apprendre davantage sur le rôle que l'alcool et d'autres drogues ont joué dans l'histoire humaine et la société. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d’apprentissage, des documents à reproduire et un texte complémentaire.

Médias et culture adolescente (8e année) – un module de 6 leçons iMinds dans lequel les élèves deviennent des spécialistes du comportement qui étudient les médias et leur influence sur le comportement des adolescents. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Débattre la politique des drogues (10e année) – ce module de 6 leçons iMinds aide les élèves à développer leur esprit critique tout en découvrant et en prenant part à des débats formels sur la consommation d'alcool et d'autres drogues. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage et des documents à reproduire.

Physical and Health Education

Physical and Health Education 4

Explorers All – in this 5-lesson unit from iMinds, Grade 4 students become “explorers” who seek out and examine the benefits, risks and harms of using medications, caffeine and other drugs. Students also explore a range of options for managing everyday problems and reflect on who they can look to if they ever need help. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

Physical and Health Education 5

Treat Island – in this 5-lesson unit from iMinds, students engage in tasks that encourage them to compare the role of sugar in our society with the role of medications and other drugs. By the end of the unit, students know more about self-management techniques and how to find help with problems. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

We Are All Change Makers - this iMinds lesson idea explores school connectedness and student engagement through an applied inquiry based on a Margaret Wheatley poem. teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Physical and Health Education 6

Becoming a Detective – through this 6-lesson module from iMinds, students learn how to be detectives. They examine “clues” about the potential influences on a young person’s behaviour in order to solve a case involving three students who keep falling asleep in class. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

Rat Park  this iMinds instructional idea uses popular presentations of Professor Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park" experiments to help students explore how the physical and social environment impact health and well-being, including drug use. Students are encouraged to be active in shaping these environments.

We Are All Change Makers - this iMinds lesson idea explores school connectedness and student engagement through an applied inquiry based on a Margaret Wheatley poem. teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Physical and Health Education 7

Ancient Peoples and Psychoactive Plants – this 6-lesson module from iMinds is designed to help students learn about the role alcohol and other drugs have played in human history and society. Module includes background material, lesson plans, black-line masters and a supplementary text.

Rat Park  this iMinds instructional idea uses popular presentations of Professor Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park" experiments to help students explore how the physical and social environment impact health and well-being, including drug use. Students are encouraged to be active in shaping these environments.

We Are All Change Makers - this iMinds lesson idea explores school connectedness and student engagement through an applied inquiry based on a Margaret Wheatley poem. teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Physical and Health Education 8

Media and Teen Culture – a 6-lesson module from iMinds in which students become behavioural scientists who study media and its influence on teen behaviour. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

A Natural High – this iMinds lesson idea explores the high that can sometimes accompany jogging and has led to the creation of the term, “runner's high.” A teacher's resource provides discussion starters and suggestions for linking to a unit exploring students' feelings while engaging in physical activities. 

The Ups and Downs of Stress – this iMinds lesson idea suggests ways to help students both understand stress and develop skills in managing it. A teacher's resource and an optional student handout are available.

Physical and Health Education 9

Cycles – this film-based resource, developed at UBC, encourages teens to talk openly and honestly about why some young people use cannabis (marijuana). Resources include a 28-min video in English and a version with French sub-titles as well as a facitator's guide in both English and French.

Lunch with Lenin – a 6-lesson module from iMinds that explores how drugs touch the lives of children. Lessons are based on Deborah Ellis' multi-cultural collection of short stories. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

A Park or a Cage? – this iMinds lesson idea explores the Rat Park experiments conducted by Prof. Bruce Alexander at SFU in the 1970s to challenge common assumptions about addiction and to help students reflect on the social factors involved. A teacher's resource and an optional student handout are available.

The Ups and Downs of Stress – this iMinds lesson idea suggests ways to help students both understand stress and develop skills in managing it. A teacher's resource and an optional student handout are available.

Physical and Health Education 10

Cycles – this film-based resource, developed at UBC, encourages teens to talk openly and honestly about why some young people use cannabis (marijuana). Resources include a 28-min video in English and a version with French sub-titles as well as a facitator's guide in both English and French.

Debating Drug Policy – this 6-lesson module from iMinds helps students develop their critical thinking skills while learning about and performing formal debates on the use of alcohol and other drugs. Module includes background material, lesson plans, and black-line masters.

Drugs and Driving – this 6-lesson resource for Grade 10-12 classrooms is designed to promote literacy about the impact of alcohol and other drugs on perception, coordination and other aspects of safe driving. The resource features a range of dialogue-centred learning activities, web apps, and a free iPhone app to inform students as they develop a social marketing strategy for addressing drug-impaired driving in their community. 

Women and Alcohol – this iMinds lesson idea deconstructs a CBC documentary and other marketing pieces to explore social concepts and health issues related to women and alcohol. A teacher's guide with links to other resources is available.

Sciences humaines

Peuples anciens et plantes psychoactives (7e année) – ce module de 6 leçons iMinds est conçu pour aider les élèves à en apprendre davantage sur le rôle que l'alcool et d'autres drogues ont joué dans l'histoire humaine et la société. Le module comprend des documents d'information, des plans d’apprentissage, des documents à reproduire et un texte complémentaire.

Médias et culture adolescente (8e année) – un module de 6 leçons iMinds dans lequel les élèves deviennent des spécialistes du comportement qui étudient les médias et leur influence sur le comportement des adolescents. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage, et des documents à reproduire.

Débattre la politique des drogues (10e année) – ce module de 6 leçons iMinds aide les élèves à développer leur esprit critique tout en découvrant et en prenant part à des débats formels sur la consommation d'alcool et d'autres drogues. Le module comprend le matériel de base, des plans d’apprentissage et des documents à reproduire.

Social Studies

Social Studies 6

Rat Park  this iMinds instructional idea uses popular presentations of Professor Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park" experiments to help students explore how the physical and social environment impact health and well-being, including drug use. Students are encouraged to be active in shaping these environments.

Social Studies 7

Ancient Peoples and Psychoactive Plants – this 6-lesson module from iMinds is designed to help students learn about the role alcohol and other drugs have played in human history and society. Module includes background material, lesson plans, black-line masters and a supplementary text.

Rat Park  this iMinds instructional idea uses popular presentations of Professor Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park" experiments to help students explore how the physical and social environment impact health and well-being, including drug use. Students are encouraged to be active in shaping these environments.

Social Studies 8

A Downside to the Printing Press? – this iMinds lesson idea encourages students to reflect on how technological inventions such as the printing press might be both a blessing and a curse. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

The Gin Craze – this iMinds lesson idea encourage students to critically examine the complex of factors that led to a new pattern of drinking, associated with gin, in 18th-century London. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

King James Trash Talks and Taxes Tobacco – this iMinds lesson idea looks at how King James I tried hard to reduce tobacco usage, not only by writing A Counterblaste to Tobacco but also by introducing a massive tax increase in 1604. Students are encouraged to reflect on the various ways to influence drug use and prmote health. A teacher's guide is provided along with three student handouts: King James Trash Talks ...Anti-Smoking: Then and Now and A Cash Crop for Virginia.

Leaves of the Land: A Quick History of Coca – this iMinds lesson idea explores how drugs and drug use can be linked to social and cultural status and identity. Students are encouraged to reflect on the role of alcohol and other drugs in their community and culture. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

A Social History of Coffee – this iMinds lesson idea examines the history of attitudes toward coffee to explore how attitudes to drugs are culturally determined and to reflect on the significance of this. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Social Studies 9

Alcohol or What? – this iMinds lesson idea draws on excerpts from an historical text to critically assess commonly held beliefs about the role alcohol has played in unravelling Aboriginal cultures since first contact with European explorers and settlers. A teacher's guide and a student handout with excerpts from G. M. Sproat's memoir and one comparing Sproat's observations with those of Bruce Alexander are available.

An Alliance Betrayed – this iMinds lesson idea explores the role of Chief Crowfoot in leading the Blackfoot people and negotiating Treaty 7 with the Canadian government against the backdrop of the whisky trade and its destructive impact on his people. A teacher's guide with links to other resources is available.

Deal Maker or Deal Breaker – this iMinds lesson idea explores different historical perspectives on the role of alcohol in the North American fur trade. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Smokes for Soldiers – this iMinds lesson idea provides primary and secondary sources to help students explore tobacco propaganda during WW I. A teacher's resource and a student handout are available.

Social Studies 10

Cocoa-nomics: Who Benefits? Who Pays? – this iMinds lesson idea encourages students to explore issues related to the cocoa industry particularly in West Africa where over 70% of the cocoa comes from. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Rum and Spirits – this iMinds lesson idea explores the intersection of rum, religion and cultural identity in the Afro-Caribbean experience drawing on history and music. A teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Selling Tobacco to Women – this iMinds lesson idea challenges students to think about the way tobacco and other psychoactive substances are marketed and, in particular, to consider the role of gender in both marketing and social attitudes. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Women and Alcohol – this iMinds lesson idea deconstructs a CBC documentary and other marketing pieces to explore social concepts and health issues related to women and alcohol. A teacher's guide with links to other resources is available.

Social Justice 11/12

Does War Cause Addiction – For many people, it makes sense that a surge of drug addiction follows the return of soldiers who’ve been physically and mentally traumatized by war, but ... This iMinds lesson idea explores the arguments and considers other possible causes.  A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Friendly Fire – this iMinds lesson idea uses a series of excerpts from the book War and Drugs to examine the role drugs played in the 2002 friendly fire incident in which four Canadian soldiers were killed by American bombers in Afghanistan. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Rum and Spirits – this iMinds lesson idea explores the intersection of rum, religion and cultural identity in the Afro-Caribbean experience drawing on history and music. A teacher's guide and student handout are available.

Smoking the Pipe–Peace or War – this iMinds lesson idea looks at how ceremonial smoking pipes and tobacco were used by many First Nations peoples in North America in relation to both building alliances for war and in making peace. Students reflect on peace-making processes and the role of symbolic objects and actions. A teacher's guide and a student handout as well as a History of Treaty-Making in Canada are available.

The Whisky Rebellion – this iMinds lesson idea, in looking at the opposition to the imposition of a tax on whisky to help finance the debt incurred during the American War of Independence, explores issues of fairness, alcohol taxation and the financing of war. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Drugs and War Series

Does War Cause Addiction – For many people, it makes sense that a surge of drug addiction follows the return of soldiers who’ve been physically and mentally traumatized by war, but ... This iMinds lesson idea explores the arguments and considers other possible causes.  A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Friendly Fire – this iMinds lesson idea uses a series of excerpts from the book War and Drugs to examine the role drugs played in the 2002 friendly fire incident in which four Canadian soldiers were killed by American bombers in Afghanistan. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Smokes for Soldiers – this iMinds lesson idea provides primary and secondary sources to help students explore tobacco propaganda during WW I. A teacher's resource and a student handout are available.

Smoking the Pipe–Peace or War – this iMinds lesson idea looks at how ceremonial smoking pipes and tobacco were used by many First Nations peoples in North America in relation to both building alliances for war and in making peace. Students reflect on peace-making processes and the role of symbolic objects and actions. A teacher's guide and a student handout as well as a History of Treaty-Making in Canada are available.

The Whisky Rebellion – this iMinds lesson idea, in looking at the opposition to the imposition of a tax on whisky to help finance the debt incurred during the American War of Independence, explores issues of fairness, alcohol taxation and the financing of war. A teacher's guide and a student handout are available.

Other learning opportunities

Peer mentor training

Wisdom from the ages

Background

Throughout history (it seems), drug use is as human as dancing, drumming or praying. When it comes to alcohol and other drugs, a little bit may be a good thing. More is not necessarily better. In cultures aroUnd the globe and throughout history, three simple principles have emerged to manage the risk from drugs: not too much, not too often, only when safe.

Instructional strategies
  1. Brainstorm and discuss. You might begin with the following:
    1. When do you think people first started using drugs?
    2. What drug do you think was the first drug ever used?
    3. How would you describe the relationship our ancestors had with drugs? Good? Bad? Healthy? Unhealthy? Important? Not important? Why do you think so?
  2. Give each participant a Did You Know? card. After reading it, have them mingle and exchange the information with several of their peers. In a debrief, ask if any participants can recall three or more of the facts from the cards and discuss, ensuring all four facts get stated or read.  Handout
  3. Provide participants with a copy of the spectrum of drug use worksheet and have them work in pairs or teams to think of examples. Share and discuss examples with the larger group. 

The point of these activities is not to present facts but to get the participants thinking about substance use in a safe context and to develop their communication skills while exploring interesting ideas.

Drug literacy objectives
  • Recognize binary constructs (e.g., good vs bad) and assess their limitation in addressing complex social issues like drug use.
  • Develop social and communication skills in addressing discourse and behaviour related to drugs.

Let's talk

Background

One of the best ways to build capacity in individuals is to provide opportunities for them to engage in open, honest discussions where they can share their ideas, listen to others' perspectives and integrate new ideas into their own knowledge base. Providing opportunities for mentors to discuss issues related to alcohol and other drugs is critical in helping them develop the competencies they will need in talking to their schoolmates about these issues. There are many ways to do this, but the instructional strategies below offer a few effective options.

Instructional strategies
  1. The Factors Game is a fun way to explore the different factors that influence the risk related to alcohol or other drug use. Review the content of Quick Guide to Drug Use with the group and then suggest participants form groups of about four to play the game. Be sure to have enough game boards and cards available.
  1. Play Cycles, a 28-minute film about fictional high school students and their relationships with cannabis, and discuss it with the participants. You might use questions like

What came up for you after viewing this film?
How does the film help you reflect on helpful ways to manage substance use?
How does the film help you as a peer mentor?

Then have particpants work in small groups to develop and present brief scripts based on some of the following scenarios.

You're Lisa and you just shared with Olin that your parents are separating. What other ways could he support you through this difficult time?

You're Lisa's lab partner in science. You notice her attendance has changed since the beginning of school and, when she does attend, she looks either high or burnt out. You're really worried about her. How do you approach Lisa to share your concerns?

You're at a party. You see your neighbour, Eric, out on the back deck. He's sharing a joint with his girlfriend who happens to be your best friend. Then, 30 minutes later, you see them both heading out the front door. Eric has car keys in his right hand and it looks like his recent marijuana use had an effect on him. What do you say? How do you approach the topic?

Last summer, you smoked weed a few times with your friend. Recently, you've noticed that your friend is now blazing a lot more often and starting to miss classes. You are concerned about what you are noticing. How do you talk to your friend? What do you say?

You're at school with a bunch of friends during your lunch hour. Someone approaches your group and asks you if you want to join them at the smoke pit for a joint. Your friends decide to join them. What do you say to your friends and the other person?

  1. Pop culture music offers many opportunities to explore attitudes, beliefs and ideas about alcohol or other drugs. Use the lists at Song Facts: Songs about Alcohol or Songs about Drugs to select songs based on the lyrics, then look up a lyrics version on You Tube to play in class. Potential songs include: Bottom of a Bottle (2003), Everyone's At It (2009), Chemicals (2013), Ain't Worth the Whiskey (2014), High by the Beach (2015) and many more.
Drug literacy objectives
  • Assess the complex ways in which drugs impact the health and well-being of individuals, communities and societies.
  • Explore and appreciate diversity related to the reasons people use drugs, the impact of drug use and the social attitudes toward various drugs.
  • Recognize binary constructs (e.g., good vs bad) and assess their limitation in addressing complex social issues like drug use.
  • Develop social and communication skills in addressing discourse and behaviour related to drugs.
  • Develop personal and social strategies to manage the risks and harms related to drugs.

Supporting peers

Background

Helping others is more about listening and encouraging than telling. A mentor leads by example and inspires others. A mentor recognizes that people are experts on themselves. The best we can do is help someone else sift through their own thoughts and ideas, and draw out and strengthen their readiness to change. Mentoring is not fixing people or solving problems. It’s about helping people understand and reach their own goals.

The goal is to help the person "talk through" their issue and develop their own ideas as they talk about ways they might positively take control of the situation to achieve better results. Two of the most important tools in helping to support this process are "open questions" and "reflective listening." Further tools are discussed in the Art of Motivation toolkit.

Instructional strategies
  1. Open questions encourage a person to explain something. Closed questions elicit a yes/no or short factual response. Have participants practise reframing the following closed questions into open questions that encourage the person to start talking about their situation and how they might be able to change it.

Do you like using alcohol?
Where did you get the cannabis?
Don’t you think getting drunk every weekend is a problem?

  1. Reflective listening can build on open questions showing the person that you are listening but also allowing you to guide the conversation toward "change talk" – elements where the person talks about ways they could change or bring about change. Consider how, in the following example, the mentor does not really add anything but interprets back what they heard and draws attention to the area where there might be some possibility of change.

Mentor: "What would it take for you to pass this course?"
Schoolmate: "Well, that is pretty much impossible. I'd have to give up partying, and Susan would kill me."
Mentor: "So you are saying that Susan wants you to party with her every night even if it means you fail math?"
Schoolmate: "Well, no, I haven't told her about my math mark."
Mentor: "Maybe if you guys talked it over, she could help you sort it out."
Schoolmate: "Yeah, actually she does really well in math."

Have participants practise similar conversations in pairs – one acting as the mentor and the other as the schoolmate, and then reverse roles.

  1. Invite the students to divide into pairs. Suggest that they have just received a text message from a schoolmate that somehow relates to alcohol or other drugs. Have them work together to craft a brief conversation, starting with the message received and their initial response, followed by one or two more rounds of texting. Debrief the conversations as a group, discussing whether or not the responses would be realistic and helpful and how they might be improved.
Drug literacy objective
  • Develop social and communication skills in addressing discourse and behaviour related to drugs.

Who's got your back?

Background

Each of us lives within a social and cultural “ecosystem” through which many other people are connected to us. Some people challenge us, some support us, many do both in complex ways. As we try to help others, we should be clear about who helps us. From where do we draw the strength to be resilient – to bounce back from adversity? When the challenges seem over our head, where or to whom can we turn?

Instructional strategies
  1. Have participants login to Drugs & Driving and use the Your Social Circle app to explore the resources within their social networks. (Or have participants simply draw some concentric circles on a piece of paper, put themselves in the centre, and identify people in various levels of closeness whom they could reach out to, and what knowledge, skills and resources each person has.) Then, as a group, discuss who might be most helpful in supporting them in their peer mentoring role.
  2. Take a large piece of paper and cut it up into a number of puzzle pieces corresponding to the number of participants and give one piece to each participant. Then, starting from www.helpingschools.ca, have participants look for resources that might help them in their mentoring work. When they have found a resource, they should identify it on their puzzle piece and list relevant data (e.g., What is helpful about this resource? When or in what situations would it be helpful?)  When everyone has identified a helpful resource, assemble the puzzle as you discuss the resources together.
Drug literacy objectives
  • Develop social and communication skills in addressing discourse and behaviour related to drugs.
  • Develop personal and social strategies to manage the risks and harms related to drugs.

By title (English)

Alcohol or What? (Grade 9)

An Alliance Betrayed (Grade 9)

Ancient Peoples and Psychoactive Plants Grade 7)

Becoming a Detective (Grade 6)

Cocoa-nomics: Who Benefits? Who Pays? (Grade 10)

Cycles (Grade 9/10)

Deal Maker or Deal Breaker (Grade 9)

Debating Drug Policy (Grade 10)

Divergent (Grade 9)

Does War Cause Addiction? (Grade 10/11/12)

A Downside to the Printing Press? (Grade 8)

Drugs and Driving (Grade 10)

Explorers All (Grade 4)

Friendly Fire (Grade 10/11/12)

The Gin Craze (Grade 8)

King James Trash Talks and Taxes Tobacco (Grade 8)

Leaves of the Land: A Quick History of Coca (Grade 8)

The Lightning Thief (Grade 8)

Listening to Sugar Man (Grade 9)

Lunch with Lenin (Grade 8/9)

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Grade 6/7)

The Many Wines (Grade 9)

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Grade 9)

A Natural High (Grade 8)

The Outsiders (Grade 8)

A Park or a Cage? (Grade 9)

The Perfect High (Grade 9)

The Power of Music (Grade 9)

Rat Park (Grade 6/7)

Rum and Spirits (Grades 10/11/12)

Selling Tobacco to Women (Grade 10)

Smokes for Soldiers (Grade 9)

Smoking the Pipe - Peace or War (Grade 10/11/12)

A Social History of Coffee (Grade 8)

Treat Island (Grade 5)

The Ups and Downs of Stress (Grade 8/9)

We Are All Change Makers (Grades 5/6/7)

The Whisky Rebellion (Grade 12)

Women and Alcohol (Grade 10/11/12)

 

By title (French)

Supporting excellence in teaching

Supporting healthy school policy

Supporting parents

Supporting positive interventions