Addiction Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson plan to introduce the topic of addiction and addictive behavior. Students will watch a video on the topic, work with a partner to define and describe addiction, and write about an addiction in their lives.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define addiction
  • define addictive behavior and list signs of addiction
  • self-identify addictive tendencies


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.


Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.


  • Begin the lesson by writing the word addiction on the board. Explain to students that the term has a clear clinical definition, but that it is often thrown around in everyday speech unnecessarily. Ask students to jot down what they believe the definition of addiction to be.
  • Start the video Addiction and Addictive Behaviors: Types & Warning Signs. Pause it at 0:47 (when the definition of addiction is on the screen).
  • Give students a moment to reflect on their definition of addiction compared to the clinical definition. Ask them to jot down similarities and differences.
  • Resume the video. Pause it again at 2:45.
  • Students will now work with a partner to define and describe addictive behaviors.
  • Ask student pairs to divide a piece of scrap paper in two. On one side, they will list addictive behaviors, both from the video and from their own experiences. On the other side, they must describe how that behavior might look in real life.
  • Hold a whole class discussion in which students offer up behaviors they have identified, as well as the examples they attributed to them.
  • Finish the video.

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