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Rx for Understanding: Be Smart About Prescription Drugs (Grades 5-8)

Easy to use, standards-based, cross-curricular lesson plans for grades 5-8

Prescription drug abuse is “the Nation’s fastest growing drug problem,” according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. This problem of prescription drug misuse and abuse is particularly alarming among young people.

Rx for Understanding: Be Smart About Prescription Drugs includes 10 cross-curricular lessons for middle school students.

Each set of sequenced lessons acts as a mini-unit. Each grade level based mini-unit focuses on the same five lesson themes:

  • Relating the issue of prescription drug safety to overall health
  • Understanding proper use
  • Understanding misuse
  • Understanding abuse
  • Conducting an application-based culminating project

The lessons in this guide represent a cross-curricular approach to teaching with a concentrated emphasis on national education standards, including the National Health Education Standards and the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics.

Each lesson can be reorganized to match your own curriculum standards. The Meeting National Education Standards chart on pages 114 through 119 can help you integrate the topic of prescription drugs into a particular content area.


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