Teaching Tool - Vaping

The purpose of this presentation is to teach students what electronic cigarettes are and the risks associated with their use.

Target audience: Students in Grades 4-8
Length of core content presentation: Varies on activity
Materials needed: Listed with each activity

Criteria Met

Grade Ontario Curriculum Codes
4 Health and Physical Education (2019) D1.4, D2.3, D3.2
5 Health and Physical Education (2019) D2.3
6 Health and Physical Education (2019) D1.2, D2.4
7 Health and Physical Education (2019) D1.2, D3.2
8 Health and Physical Education (2019) D1.3

Goals

In facilitating this lesson, the teacher will:

  • Explain the components of electronic cigarettes and their appeal to youth
  • Describe the risks of using electronic cigarettes
  • Teach students appropriate refusal skills

Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will:

  • Gain a clear understanding of what electronic cigarettes are and how they work
  • Be able to escribe the risks of using electronic cigarettes and understand ways to refuse their use

Core Knowledge Content

Core knowledge content provides the teacher with the background information needed to prepare and teach this health class.

Learning Activities

  • Vaping PowerPoint Presentation (essential)

    Time: 30 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Cue PowerPoint presentation on SMART board
    • Deliver presentation to students using notes embedded in presentation
    • Pause periodically throughout presentation, asking questions to assess comprehension and engage students in discussion
  • Mystery Box Activity

    Time: 50 minutes

    Materials

    • Measuring wheel or meter stick
    • Multiple rolls of masking tape
    • Large cardboard box
    • Two transparent containers
    • Option 1 Mixture
      • Water
      • Food colouring
      • Liquid soap
      • Sand
      • Staples
      • Glitter
    • Option 2 Mixture
      • Water
      • Food colouring
      • Dish soap
      • Pencil lead
      • Paint
      • Liquid glue
      • Paperclips
      • Gold leafs

    Instructions

    • Get a large cardboard box and cut out one hole that is large enough to fit a hand through one side of the box
    • Use felt to create flaps to cover the openings to prevent people from looking into the box
    • Acquire two sleek transparent containers (ex: water bottle, pasta sauce jar) and prepare Option 1 and Option 2 mixtures to place inside the cardboard box
    • Recruit students to participate in the activity
    • Ask students if they are willing to place their hand(s) in the box and feel the object inside
    • While they are feeling the object, ask them:
      • Describe how the products feel (ex: texture, shape)
      • How would you describe its shape?
      • What do you think the object is?
      • Are you curious about what the product is?
      • Without knowing what the product is, would you want it? Or would you use it?
    • If they say yes: Reveal the bottle and state, "This is what you decided to use"
    • If they say no: Reveal the bottle and state, "This is what you would have risked using"
    • Explain the connection between choosing to use an e-cigarette based off its harmless appeal and lack of information on its content (ex: e-liquid)
    • Deliver the key messages:
      • Do not risk using something without knowing its content
      • The ingredients of e-liquids are unknown as there is a lack of quality control
      • The vapour produced by e-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals (ex: benzene), heavy metals (lead, nickel and tin) and tiny particles
    • Note: Do not allow students to open the bottle; and run the activity according to the amount of people present

    Variations

    Class Discussion

    • Do schools permit vaping on school property?
    • How many meters away from school property must someone be to vape?
      • Have students get into small groups of four or five
      • Using masking tape, groups will estimate how long they think 20 meters is and place the tape on the ground in the classroom or in the hallway
      • Once each group has estimated how long they think it is, use a measuring wheel or a meter stick to measure out how far 20 meters truly is

    Class Discussion

    • Were you surprised with how far 20 meters actually was?
    • Where do you think 20 meters is away from your school property?
  • Wants vs. Needs. vs. Addiction

    Time: 40 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    Brainstorm

    • Divide students into groups of 3-5 and give each group a large post-it sheet or poster paper
    • Instruct each group to generate a definition of the words "want," "need," and "addiction" and write them on the post-it or poster paper
    • Once complete, combine the group definitions for each word to create one generic definition. Write each new combined definition on the board.

    4-Corners

    • Move the desks to the perimeter of the classroom and hang the four posters found in the Needs vs. Wants vs. Addictions Worksheet on the walls
    • Read each of the statements found on the Needs vs. Wants vs. Addictions Worksheet aloud to the students
    • After each question, have students move to the area of the room that matches their feelings about what you read (either want, need, addiction, or unsure)
    • Likely students will feel differently about each statement. When there are differences being voiced by students as to what they consider "wants," "needs," or "addictions," have a few students to discuss why they have taken that position
    • This is a great opportunity to reinforce want vs. need vs. addiction definitions and to acknowledge the differences in opinion
    • Since there will likely be a divergence of opinions, remind the participants that each of them must allow for disagreement in a respectful manner

    Class Discussion

    • Why do you think it is important to identify the differences between these three terms?
    • Can you think of any other "needs, wants or addictions" in your life that you could begin to eliminate?
      • How do you think this will make you feel?
    • How could you help a family member or friend who is having a difficult time managing their "needs, wants or addictions" involving the use of e-cigarettes?

    Variations

    • Students can complete the Vape-Free Crossword Puzzle (hard) or the Vape-Free Word Search (easier)
  • Safe Lungs, Safe Life Posters

    Time: 50 minutes

    Materials

    • Poster paper
    • Markers
    • Pencil crayons
    • Crayons
    • Magazines
    • White board
    • Sticky notes
    • Blank paper
    • Tape

    Instructions

    • On the white board, write the following question, "On a scale of 1-10 how bad do you think vaping is for your lungs?" Then write a number 1 (not bad) and a number 10 (extremely bad) on a blank sheet of paper and tape each on the opposite sides of a wall
    • Have students rate their answer to the question by standing where between the two numbers
    • Option: place number sheets on the white board and have students use sticky note with their names on it to rate their answer

    Class Discussion

    • If your answer rated between 1-5, explain your reasoning
    • If your answer rated between a 6-10, explain your reasoning
    • Do you think your answers would change if we asked the same question but made it specifically about younger students or older adults? Why or why not?
    • Why do you think it is important to discuss what dangers vaping has on your lungs?
    • How can you promote the importance of lung health to other students? (Ex: posters, social media, announcements, etc.)

    Posters

    • Students will be assigned (or they can choose) one of the eight slogans to use to create their poster
    • They will then create a poster with images and text that best reflect their slogan
    • Students may find images online, or in magazines, or they can free hand draw
    • Vaping slogans are as follows:
      • "Safe Lungs, Safe Life"
      • "Be King to Your Lungs"
      • "Healthy Lungs, Healthy Life"
      • "Breathe in Clean Air"
      • "Breathe Freely"
      • "Save Your Lungs, Save Your Life"
      • "I Love (heart) My Lungs"
      • "Long Live My Lungs"
    • Once posters are complete, hang them in high volume areas like the hallway, foyer or classrooms
  • Refusal Skills

    Time: 30 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    Brainstorm (Grade 4-8)

    • Project or draw a copy of the Your Influences Worksheet on the white board ensuring that there is room to fill and add thought bubbles
    • Then, provide students with a copy of the Your Influences Worksheet and have them fill in the thought bubbles with examples of people or factors that influence their opinions and use of e-cigarettes or vape pens, and reasons why they would not want to use them
    • If students are comfortable, ask for a few volunteers to share examples of what they came up with and write them on the board

    Vape-Free Fortune Teller (Grade 4-6)

    • Cut out and fold the Vape-Free Fortune Teller according to the perforated lines
    • The fortune-teller works by having a student make a series of choices between different scenarios
    • The "story" that unfolds concludes with an outcome that includes a strategy to stay vape-free
    • One student holds the game and acts as the "fortune-teller"
    • The "player" picks a scenario from the choices on the outside flaps and the fortune-teller counts out the appropriate number
    • The player then choose one of the four scenarios displayed on the inside flaps and the corresponding number is again counted out by the fortune-teller
    • The player then makes a final choice between the scenarios presented and the fortune-teller lifts the flap and reads the outcome of the player's story underneath

    Class Discussion

    • What are other ways you could deal with the situations?
    • What are examples of other times when you might need to deal with people vaping or asking you to vape?
    • Why do you think that refusal skills are important?

    Role Play (Grade 7-8)

    • Divide students into small groups of 4-5 students
    • Each group will receive one scenario card from the Refusal Skills Scenario Card Worksheet regarding peer pressure, refusal skills and the use of e-cigarettes
    • Groups will receive 10-15 minutes to prepare a role play of their scenario to present to the class
    • One at a time, each group will present their role play and then read their class discussion component to the class
    • Then, the rest of the class will brainstorm ways to respond to their associated question

    Class Discussion

    • Why do you think that refusal skills are important?
    • What are other refusal skills that you could use in similar situations?
    • Do you think there are other ways to resolve these kinds of situations? Would they be more or less effective?
    • What does the following statement mean to you: "Saying no isn't just what we say, but how we say it!"

    Variations

    • Have the students form a circle around a ball
    • One student picks up the ball and lightly passes it to another student
    • When another student receives the ball they must state one refusal skill or reason for not wanting to use an e-cigarette in order to stay in the game. Then, they will pass the ball to another student
    • The students must come up with a different answer each time to remain standing. If they take too long to answer, don't come up with an answer, or repeat an answer already said then they must sit down
    • The last person standing wins the game

    Class Discussion

    • How did it feel when you received the ball?
    • Was it easy or hard for you to think on the spot?
    • How do you think this applies to life experiences and the use of e-cigarettes?
    • What did you learn during this activity about refusing to vape?
  • Differing Abilities

    Time: 30 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    What is Nicotine?

    • Review and discuss with the students all or some of the following information:
      • Nicotine is found naturally in the tobacco leaf. It is the chemical that makes tobacco products so addictive. Nicotine can also be found in electronic cigarettes (vapes). In Ontario, nicotine is a legal drug but you must be 19 years of age or older to purchase tobacco products or e-cigarettes
      • When smoked, nicotine is absorbed through the lungs and into the bloodstream and to other organs in the body. It can take as little as 10 seconds for nicotine to reach the brain after it is inhaled.
      • Initially, nicotine may cause you to feel good to energized, or alert and calm. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict (narrow) which increases blood pressure. It also increases heart rate, decreases body temperature, alters brain waves, relaxes muscles and can affect the lungs.
      • Chronic exposure to nicotine affects brain development. This is particularly harmful during periods when the brain is developing, such as in young people (especially before the age of 25) or during fetal development (pregnancy). These lasting changes can negatively affect a person's thinking, reasoning and or behaviour including memory and attention.
      • Nicotine is addictive. Young people may become more easily addicted because their brains are rapidly growing and developing. Nicotine can also train the adolescent brain for addiction to other drugs.
      • Not all vaping products contain nicotine, but for those that do, the level of nicotine can vary widely.
      • Some mixtures have very low levels, while others can contain more nicotine than a typical cigarette.

    Nicotine or Not Game

    • Preparation:
      • Teachers will print and cut out images from the Nicotine or Not Worksheet to provide to students
    • For this game, students will look at each image on the Nicotine or Not Worksheet and circle either True or False to determine if that item contains nicotine
    • Once each image has been identified as either containing nicotine or not containing nicotine, students will sort them into one of two categories (Contains nicotine or does not contain nicotine) using the Nicotine Sorting Worksheet

    Variations

    • Once items have been sorted into one of two categories, students can then turn to an elbow partner and explain why they sorted the images the way they did
    • This game can be played individually or in a small group with students working together to identify and sort the nicotine containing items

Consult Your School's Public Health Nurse

Your school's public health nurse can help you prepare for delivering this presentation and can assist you in developing engaging projects and extension activities. To reach your school's public health nurse, contact healthyschools@niagararegion.ca or 905-688-8248 ext. 7379.

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