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"Smoking Prevention Campaign"

Estimated Time of Completion: Two to four 50-minute periods

I. Summary
II. Objectives
III. Materials Needed
IV. Procedure
V. Classroom Assessment
VI. Extensions and Adaptations
VII. Online Resources
VIII. Relevant National Standards

I. Summary:

For grades 7-12. Students will combine a study of facts regarding tobacco with a survey of their peers' attitudes and experiences to create a schoolwide smoking prevention campaign.

II. Objectives:

To understand facts about smoking and use those facts to impact the entire school population

III. Materials Needed:

IV. Procedure:

  1. Begin the lesson by asking students to estimate how many students in their school smoke cigarettes. Talk about whether teens know all the facts regarding smoking, where they get information, whether information affects students' decision to smoke or not-- and why.

  2. Explain that the class will be creating a schoolwide campaign to educate their peers on the truth about cigarette smoking, and that there are two key elements that will contribute to the effectiveness of the campaign:

    1. Learning the most current, accurate facts about smoking, including the effects on the body, cigarette ingredients, and tobacco advertising.
    2. Understanding their classmates' attitudes about and experiences with cigarette smoking, so that the campaign can be as focused as possible.

  3. Explain that students will be accomplishing the first through Internet research and a crossword puzzle, and that in regard to the second, a survey will help more accurately determine student smoking habits and attitudes.

  4. Divide the class into two sections.

  5. The first group will be the Fact Finders. Give each student in the group copies of the blank "Smoking Crossword" and Smoking Information Web sites list (or the URL where both are located and can be printed out). They will do research and complete the crossword, taking notes about any information they would like to include in their smoking information campaign.

  6. The second group will be the Poll Takers. Work with them to develop a short anonymous survey (no more than 5 to 10 questions) about smoking to pass out to their peers. Encourage students to make the survey as simple as possible with questions that require one-word or yes/no answers. Questions might include:

    • Have you ever tried smoking? If so, how old were you when you first tried it?
    • Do your parents smoke? Have your parents talked to you about the effects of smoking?
    • Have you ever seen a list of the ingredients that are in a cigarette?
    • What cigarette ads do you remember and like the best?

  7. Ask each member of the Poll Takers group to bring at least 5 completed surveys to your next class (but encourage them to collect as many as possible). Survey respondents must be other students at your school (no parents, younger siblings, etc.)

  8. In the second class period, collect completed surveys and review the results with the whole class. Draw a list of the most common answers or recurring attitudes that are apparent. Ask the Fact Finders group to share the crossword answers-- the key facts of the campaign-- with the rest of the class.

  9. At this point, break the class into groups that will compare and review the information they have found (through research and the surveys), and to plan campaign materials accordingly. If possible, try to arrange each group so that it has an equal number of Fact Finders and Poll Takers.

  10. Encourage students to use posters, slogan buttons, PA system spots, a school assembly, or their own original ideas to shape the campaign. Encourage them to focus on the crossword answer facts (with room for additional facts they've found interesting) and the survey results.

    Example: The survey finds that most teens like and recognize the "Marlboro Man" advertisements; students might develop a poster that counters the ad's image with the facts of how much tobacco companies spend on advertising to teens.

  11. Work with students to carry out the campaign according to the means and time frame best suited to your class and school.

V. Classroom Assessment:

Score student work as a combination of group and individual assessment, according to the following 100 point scale:

VI. Extensions and Adaptations:

VII. Online Resources:

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:


Life Skills

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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