"The Best Birthday Present Ever"
Estimated Time of Completion: One 50-minute period, plus homework assignment
III. Materials Needed
V. Classroom Assessment
VI. Extensions and Adaptations
VII. Online Resources
VIII. Relevant National Standards
For grades 7-9. In this lesson, students will gather basic facts about tobacco addiction, including cigarette ingredients, physical effects, tobacco advertising, and how to quit. They will use their understanding of these facts to compose a letter to someone they love, asking them to quit smoking. Letters will present arguments based on the facts.
- To gain understanding of the realities of cigarette smoking.
- To gain media literacy by understanding how and why tobacco advertisers target young people.
- To be able to present a clear and logical written argument based on what they have learned.
III. Materials Needed:
- Explain to students that they will be writing a letter to someone they love, asking them to quit smoking. The opening line will be: "All I want for my birthday is for you to quit smoking." They are to include at least 4 personal reasons, at least 6 facts about smoking, and at least 4 methods and/or benefits of quitting smoking.
- Hand out the Project Map as the assignment is explained. They will be instructed to take good notes during the video, especially in the areas of smoking facts, how to quit smoking, and the benefits of quitting smoking.
- Hand out the Tobacco Fact Sheet so they can compare their own notes with the facts they'll need to complete the assignment.
- Show the PBS In the Mix video "Smoking: The Truth Unfiltered."
- Prior to writing the letter, they are to create their own image map or diagram where their ideas are placed within the map. They are then to use the image map to compose their letter in which the opening sentence is "All I want for my birthday is for you to quit smoking. It should be directed to someone they love or care for and follow the Project Map for minimum content.
V. Classroom Assessment:
Score student work according to the following 100-point scale:
- Letter included 4 personal reasons why the recipient should quit smoking: 25 points
- Letter included 6 facts about smoking: 25 points
- Letter inlcude 4 benefits and methods of quitting: 25 points
- Letter was well-written: 25 points
VI. Extensions and Adaptations:
VII. Online Resources:
- A selection of letters could be read during school announcements on target dates such as "Great American Smokeout Day".
- Letters could be mailed to the intended recipients.
- Students could submit letters to the local editor for the open forum with a general addressee (ie. "Dear Mom").
- Portions of letters might be read as Public Service Announcements by the local radio station.
- Students might be given an extra day to incorporate Online Resources with additional information that could be used.
See the Smoking Information Web sites list
VIII. Relevant National Standards:
These are established by McREL at http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/docs/contents.html:
- Knows how to maintain and promote personal health
- Knows essential concepts about the prevention and control of disease
- Understands aspects of substance use and abuse
- Thinking And Reasoning: Understands and applies the basic principles of presenting an argument
- Thinking And Reasoning: Understands and applies basic principles of logic and reasoning
About the Author:
Judy Terando has taught Physical Education and Health since 1965, focusing on bringing technology into the classroom and spurring student creativity. She currently teaches high school in La Salle, IL.
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