Teaching Tool - Talking About Tobacco

This presentation provides students the opportunity to learn about the effects of tobacco use.

Target audience: students in Grade 4
Length of core content presentation: 50 minutes

Criteria Met

Grade Ontario Curriculum Codes
4 Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2015) C1.4, C2.3, C3.2

Goals

In delivering this presentation, the teacher will:

  • Engage students in discussion and activities that present the harmful effects of tobacco use
  • Create an environment that the students feel comfortable asking questions about tobacco

Objectives

By the end of this presentation, students will:

  • Identify the effects of tobacco use on the body
  • Learn the concept of "addiction"
  • Learn factors influencing tobacco use, including regulation
  • Practice strategies for personal safety, empowering them to make healthy choices

Core Knowledge Content

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

Learning Activities

  • Talking about tobacco (essential)
    Time: 30 minutes

    Materials

    Discussion

    • Display 'Inside your lungs' poster for the class to see
    • Ask students to discuss what they know about the respiratory system. Supplement and clarify wherever necessary.
    • Invite students to identify any parts of the respiratory system that are familiar to them. Supplement and clarify whenever necessary, using the Core Knowledge Content and the poster.
    • Remind students why the respiratory system is so important and how good lung health is important to overall health
    • Tell students that sometimes people do things that can be harmful to their respiratory system and their overall health, such as smoking
    • Introduce different chemicals in tobacco products (eg: nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide)
    • Explain that there are many different ways to use tobacco products and that they all have negative effects on health
    • Explain what smoking is and explain the difference between first, second and third hand smoke
    • Ask students if they know of any consequence of using tobacco
    • Show students 'It will never happen to me' poster to present and discuss the different effects that smoking has on the human body

    Variations

    • Follow discussion with Tar Jar and Out of Breath activities to demonstrate how tobacco use can impair lung function
  • Choose to be tobacco-free (essential)
    Time: 20 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Briefly review the effects of tobacco use and introduce some strategies students might use in different situations involving tobacco
      • Some examples include making an excuse, leaving, saying "no", etc.
    • Organize students into small groups or pairs
    • Have a student read the scenario on the card aloud to the whole class and/or have a group of students act out the scenario
    • • Ask students to discuss the scenario in their groups, reflecting on how they would feel and what they would do if they were in that situation. Prompts:
      • What is the problem here?
      • How might you feel?
      • What could you do?
      • What might be challenging about that?
      • What or who can help you in this scenario (e.g. skills, resources)?
    • After a few minutes, ask students to share some of their reflections with the class
    • Repeat this activity with different scenarios
    • Close the activity by reviewing some of the refusal skills and resiliency resources (e.g. trusted adults, supportive friends and family, school, community, talents/skills, etc). Write skills and resources on chart paper to be displayed in the classroom.

    Variations

    • Quick review: Whenever time permits (5-10 minutes), revisit one or two scenarios by having students discuss or role-play scenarios and responses
      • Place the scenario cards in a box and pick one at random whenever time permits (e.g. a short break between lesson periods or before dismissal)
      • Read the scenario aloud and allow students to discuss it in small groups or as a whole class
    • Students can discuss scenarios in pairs or small groups as an enrichment activity after completing other work
    • Students can come up with their own scenarios to which their classmates can respond
    • Have students write their own individual responses to a particular scenario
    • Create a gallery walk with a different scenario at each station
      • Have students work in groups to come up with a response to the scenarios
      • Have each group begin at a different station to work on that scenario before rotating to the next station
    • Create a gallery walk with a different activity at each station (i.e. Tar jar, Out of breath, scenarios, each of the worksheets

    Curriculum Connections

    This activity can be connected to curriculum expectations in The Arts (Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8, The Arts (2009), Grade 4: Drama, B1.2, B1.3) and Language (Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8, Language (2006), Grade 4: Writing, 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2,2) by allowing students to create written or dramatized responses to the scenarios.

  • Tar jar
    Time: 5 minutes

    Materials

    • Clear jar with lid
    • Molasses

    Prepare Ahead

    • Pour 1 cup of molasses into the jar and replace the lid to create a "tar jar"

    Instructions

    • Review the effects of smoking tobacco on the respiratory system learned in the classroom discussion
    • Show the tar jar to the students and ask them to share their observations
      • Allow the students to take turns looking at the jar closely, handling and manipulating the jar to move the molasses in the jar
    • Ask students to share their observations
    • Explain that the molasses in the jar represents tar that would be deposited in smoker’s lung if someone smoked a pack a day for one year
    • Explain that tar causes cancer. It clogs your lungs and affects your breathing. It looks like molasses, thick and sticky
    • Ask students to discuss how they think smoking might affect a person's life
      • Encourage students to consider activities that they enjoy (e.g. playing sports, singing, building things, playing video games, etc) and how damage to lung function might hinder these activities
      • Encourage students to think about mundane tasks that we do every day (e.g. carrying bags, walking up the stairs, etc) and how damage to lung function might make these tasks more challenging

    Variations

    • Follow immediately with Out of breath activity
    • Create a gallery walk with a different activity at each station (i.e. Tar jar, Out of breath, Choose to be tobacco-free scenarios, each of the worksheets)
  • Out of breath
    Time: 10 minutes

    Materials

    • Straws
    • Timer (optional)

    Instructions

    • Introduce a discussion about the benefits of being physically active and the fun aspects of exercise
      • Students might discuss enjoyment of activities such as sports, dance, playing with friends, swimming
      • Students might discuss benefits such as living a long and healthy life, being strong, having better mental health, being happier, having more energy, thinking more clearly, making friends through activities, better mobility, etc.
    • Ask the students if they know what it feels like to have trouble breathing (i.e. asthma)
    • Explain to students that in this activity, they will be simulating some of the effects of smoking on their ability to be physically active
    • Invite students to find a spot where they can move freely
    • Ask four students to volunteer to use the straws during one to two minutes of the exercise period to simulate a restricted airway (students with pre-existing lung conditions, such as asthma should not volunteer)
    • Begin with a simple warm-up. Instruct the "straw users" when to start exercising while breathing through the straw. This will be one to two minutes during the intense activity portion of the exercise. The total exercise period will last for approximately five to eight minutes including a cool-down period. Ask the "straw users" to comment on how difficult it is to exercise with a restricted airway (i.e. stamina, ability to breathe and keep up, etc.).
    • Conclude the activity by discussing their knowledge of tobacco use and its effects on lung function and overall health
    • Instruct students to take notes during their investigation. Optional: have students create/use a special "detectives' notebook"
      • Refer to information and frequently asked question section in the Core Knowledge Content to answer students' questions and formulate discussion questions

    Variations

    • Create a gallery walk with a different activity at each station (i.e. Tar jar, Out of breath, Choose to be tobacco-free scenarios, each of the worksheets)
  • Every puff you take
    Time: 10 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Distribute the 'Every puff you take' worksheet to the students
    • Instruct the students to complete the worksheet by writing the number representing a word or phrase in the left column in the space provided for the corresponding definition in the right column
      • If necessary or appropriate, complete the first match together as a class, and then allow students to complete the activity independently
    • Collect the worksheets or correct them together as a class

    Variations

    • Allow students to complete this activity in pairs or small groups
    • Create a gallery walk with a different activity at each station (i.e. Tar jar, Out of breath, Choose to be tobacco-free scenarios, each of the worksheets)
  • Effects of smoking on the body
    Time: 15 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Distribute the 'Every puff you take' worksheet to the students
    • Instruct the students to complete the worksheet by writing the number representing a word or phrase in the left column in the space provided for the corresponding definition in the right column
      • If necessary or appropriate, complete the first match together as a class, and then allow students to complete the activity independently
    • Collect the worksheets or correct them together as a class

    Variations

    • Allow students to complete this activity in pairs or small groups
    • Create a gallery walk with a different activity at each station (i.e. Tar jar, Out of breath, Choose to be tobacco-free scenarios, each of the worksheets)
  • Smoke and mirrors
    Time: 20 minutes

    Materials

    • SMART board
    • Examples of tobacco use in media (images or video clips)
    • Chart paper or white board and markers

    Prepare Ahead

    • Search online for examples of tobacco use in media, especially in movies, music, and TV shows that are popular among students in the class
    • Examples of tobacco use in films can be found at smokefreemovies.ca
    • IMDB includes information about tobacco use in movies/TV shows (Parents Guide)
    • Examples of movies showing tobacco use:
      • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
      • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
    • Examples of TV shows showing tobacco use:
      • Awkward
      • Teen Wolf
      • Modern Family
    • Example of song lyrics referring to tobacco use:
      • Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran

    Instructions

    • Organize students into small groups (3-4 students)
    • Play a short clip of a popular song that includes a reference to tobacco and have students discuss what they heard
    • Ask students to think about the TV shows and movies they watch and whether they have noticed any tobacco use. Ask them to discuss how tobacco use is depicted in their favourite shows, movies, songs, etc.
    • Present images or video clips of examples and ask students to discuss how the use of tobacco is depicted in the clip
    • Move on to a whole class discussion about their perception of tobacco use in the media. Ask students what kinds of things they notice about how substance use is portrayed in ads, movies, TV shows, and songs
    • On chart paper or a whiteboard, create a t-chart and in the left column (Media) write down some of the students' reflections on the examples shown, using key words or phrases (e.g. "cool", "rich", "fun", "sick", "peer pressure", "gross", etc.)
    • Ask students to discuss briefly with their groups what they know about the effects of tobacco (e.g. physical health, mental health, relationships, behaviours, etc.)
    • Move on to a whole class discussion about the effects of tobacco use
    • In the right column (Reality) of the t-chart, write down the effects identified by the students
    • Ask the students to discuss with their groups the similarities and differences between media depictions and the real effects of tobacco use
    • Ask students to discuss why media depictions glamourize tobacco use (i.e. what purposes and audience media creators are trying to reach, what messages they are trying to portray, and what factors influence the representations of tobacco use in media)

    Variations

    • Students can find examples of depictions as homework and bring them in to present them to the class
    • Students can complete their own t-charts using a graphic organizer worksheet when presented a video clip or image
    • Students can demonstrate learning by creating an illustration contrasting media depictions of substance use and the reality of its effects
    • This can be made into a group project in which small groups contrast depictions of one of the substances discussed and create some visual or textual comparison between media and reality. This can become a presentation to the whole class.

    Curriculum Connections

    This activity can be connected to curriculum expectations in Language (Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8, Language (2006), Grade 4: Media Literacy, 1.2, 1.3).

  • Tobacco-free for life
    Time: 30 minutes

    Materials

    • Student materials vary depending on format chosen to complete activity
    • Chart Paper
    • Markers

    Instructions

    • Open a whole-class discussion inviting students to name some of their favourite activities (some may mention playing sports, watching TV, reading, dancing, playing video games, etc.)
    • Instruct students to work individually to create a representation of their preferred activity (e.g. an illustration and/or written description of the activity and what they enjoy about it)
    • As a whole class, discuss the impacts of tobacco use on the ability to engage in certain activities. Ask students to reflect on what they know about the effects of tobacco use and whether/how these effects would impact their ability to enjoy those same activities. Examples:
      • Having to leave a social setting or activity to smoke
      • Irritability when craving nicotine harming social interactions
      • Athletic performance can be negatively impacted by impaired lung function
      • Withdrawal of friends because of second-hand and third-hand smoke
      • Illness or death would prevent enjoyment of any of these activities
    • Instruct students to work individually to create a representation of how tobacco would negatively impact their ability to enjoy their preferred activity
    • As a whole class, discuss some of the students’ representations. On chart paper, write down some of activities that can be negatively affected by drug use
      • Optional: Post the chart paper on a bulletin board/wall in the classroom or hallway
    • Allow students to complete their representations
    • Ask students to discuss briefly with their groups what they know about the effects of tobacco (e.g. physical health, mental health, relationships, behaviours, etc.)
      • Optional: Post their work on the board/wall around the chart paper
      • Optional: Have students create a banner with an anti-tobacco slogan (e.g. "Tobacco-free for life", "I won't be sucked in") to post above the bulletin board

    Variations

    • Incorporate this activity into an extended project in which students create an anti-tobacco campaign

Opportunities to Extend Learning

Class project

  • Anti-tobacco Campaign: Have students create an anti-tobacco campaign. This can take many forms (posters, PA announcements, presentations to other classes in the school, brochures, etc)

Consult Your School 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 health nurse, contact healthyschools@niagararegion.ca or 905-688-8248 ext. 7379.


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