Red Ribbon Week Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education

Celebrate Red Ribbon Week and educate your students to the harms of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs with this lesson plan. Students learn about the prevention, treatment, and effects of these substances through discussions and activities.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • list the effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
  • explain treatments for alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
  • discuss prevention methods for alcohol, tobacco, and drugs


  • This lesson is structured to use as stations that can be stretched over several class periods


Key Vocabulary


  • Alcoholism
  • Alcohol education program
  • Brief intervention
  • Alcohol treatment program
  • Residential treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Counseling
  • Support programs


  • Prescription pain killer
  • Withdrawal
  • Cocaine
  • Behavioral therapy
  • MDMA
  • Club drugs
  • Inpatient rehab center


  • Nicotine
  • Nervous system
  • Hypertension

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.9

Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.



  • Engage students with the topic by asking them to write a definition of 'alcoholism;' share and discuss answers.
  • Define the term, then preview other vocabulary for this lesson.
  • Start the lesson Prevention and Treatment Programs for Alcoholism. Distribute the transcripts and instruct students to follow along and highlight key terms and ideas.
  • Discuss:
    • Why is alcoholism considered a medical condition?
    • What three things are done to deal with alcohol?
    • What are some examples of alcohol prevention programs?
    • How do alcohol treatment programs compare?
    • Why should there be support systems for alcohol?
  • Administer the lesson quiz to check for understanding.


  • Divide students into small groups. Have each group create a skit of a peer with an alcohol problem and the impact it has on friends and family. Allow students to perform.
  • Divide students into partner pairs. Have each pair research an area of alcohol prevention, treatment, or support as listed in this lesson, then create a presentation to share findings.
  • Have students research drunk driving statistics in your community. Invite a team of paramedics, police officers, and representatives from MADD to speak at your school.


  • Distribute copies of the lesson Why Do People Use Drugs? and have students read, highlighting and notating key terms and ideas.
  • Assign students one of the three roles featured in this lesson: either Josh, Darren, or Julie.
  • Have students work with others in their character groups to read the sections more closely, discussing elements of the drug usage and effects it has on the character.
  • Instruct students to imagine the character is a friend, co-worker, peer, or family member and create a follow-up story. Have them tell what happens after the story ends; present stories to the class and discuss.
  • Have students take the lesson quiz to check for understanding.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account