- Students use a Graphic Organizer to gather information about:
- The possible effects of cannabis use on an individual’s physical and mental health
- The people, resources, and services in the school and community that can provide support when a person is dealing with mental health issues and choices or situations involving substance use, such as cannabis
- How to access these supports
- Students express their understanding through the creation of a media text to educate their target audience.
- This activity may be used as part of a unit of learning. It may also be used as a lead into the second Grade 6 Cannabis Education “What Would I Do?” activity.
A1.6, D1.2, D1.4
- An outline of a human body
- Electronic devices for researching, gathering information, and creating media texts if available
- Information about the effects of cannabis and other drugs, such as:
- iMinds (online resources, available via Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research’s website)
- Information about local school and community resources and services available and how to access them, such as:
- Cannabis: Important things to know (online resources, available via Kids Help Phone website)
- Graphic Organizer Template
- Materials for students to create their media product, e.g., chart paper and markers to create a poster or information pamphlet (optional)
- We are learning about some of the possible effects that cannabis use can have on a person's body and their mental health.
- We are learning about people, resources, and services in our school and community that can help individuals dealing with mental health issues and choices or situations involving cannabis.
- We are learning how people can access the supports available to them in our school and community, and how to use our critical thinking skills to assess the effects of cannabis use to make choices that keep our bodies healthy when dealing with mental health issues or choices or situations involving cannabis.
Sample Success Criteria
- I can describe how using cannabis might affect a person’s body and mind.
- I can identify people, resources, and services in my school and community that someone can go to for help when dealing with mental health issues and situations involving cannabis.
- I can describe how someone can access the supports available to them to help them deal with mental health issues and situations involving cannabis.
- I can think critically to assess how cannabis can affect a person’s health and to make healthy choices to keep my body healthy when faced with mental health issues or choices involving cannabis.
Opportunities For Assessment
- During the Action, before groups create their media text, use the group Graphic Organizer to assess the information the group has gathered related to the Learning Goals and provide feedback.
- During the Consolidation, use the media text and presentation to assess what students have learned about the possible effects of cannabis use on an individual’s physical and mental health and the people, resources, and services available in their school and community to support individuals dealing with mental health issues and/or situations involving cannabis.
- At the end of the Consolidation, use student paragraphs to assess what students have learned about the possible effects of cannabis use on an individual’s physical and mental health and the people, resources, and services available in their school and community to support individuals dealing with mental health issues and/or situations involving cannabis.
- Provide each student with an outline of a human body and have them write their names somewhere on it. The figure represents their body and mind.
- Have students think about and write down three things they do each day that contributes to their personal physical and mental health (e.g., “Drinking water everyday keeps me hydrated so that I have energy.” “Getting enough sleep helps me think better.” “Spending time with my friends and playing outside help me with my mood because I feel happy when I do these things.”)
- Have students write their ideas somewhere on the outline of the body provided.
- Have students write down three people who help them make healthy choices to maintain their health (e.g., elders, parents/guardians/caregivers, siblings, their coach, friends).
- Have students share their ideas with 2–3 of their classmates or with the whole class, focusing their conversation on how taking care of their physical and mental health every day helps them function and live at an optimum level to meet their daily personal needs.
- Share the Learning Goals with students and co-construct the Success Criteria.
- Organize students into groups of 4–5.
- Explain that each group will investigate the following questions and create a poster or media text of their choice to share this information with their chosen audience:
- In what ways does cannabis use affect a person's body, their mental health, and their overall health and well-being?
- Who are the best people, resources, and services available in our school and community to support someone who is dealing with a mental health issue and/or choices or situations involving cannabis use?
- How does a person access these supports if they are dealing with mental health issues and/or choices or situations involving cannabis use?
- Clarify the meaning of key phrases that students may be unfamiliar with, such as:
- Mental health/mental health issues
- What constitutes overall health
- Well-being (physical, emotional, social, and/or cognitive)
- How cannabis is categorized as a legal substance for adults and illegal for someone under 19
- The difference between a resource and a service
- Provide groups with the questions and a Graphic Organizer to record their ideas as they gather and organize their information and think about their answers for the questions.
- Have students create headings or different sections on their Graphic Organizer using the following (or similar) labels:
- Effects: effects of cannabis on a person’s body and mind
- People: people in my school or community who can help someone with a mental health issue situations involving cannabis
- Resources: resources available in my school or community to help someone with a mental health issue and/or situations involving cannabis
- Services: services available in my school or community to help someone with a mental health issue and situations involving cannabis
- Access: how to access people, resources, and services for support
- Provide groups with resources to help them gather sufficient information for each of their headings, such as:
- Once groups have had sufficient time to gather their information, have them share their information with the other groups. During the sharing, have groups add any missing information to their own Graphic Organizer.
- Have groups review all the information they have collected and determine whether they have sufficient information to answer the three questions.
- Before the groups record their answers to the questions, have the whole class brainstorm a list of criteria for what makes a person, a resource, or a service the “best” choice in their school and community. Criteria may include the fact that a person is a trusted adult, expert in mental health, or expert in substance use and addictions, type of resources available, or how easily accessible a resource is, the hours open, wait times, and the types of services offered.
- Using the criteria generated, have each group formulate their answers to the three questions.
- Once groups have completed the answers, pose the following questions to the class1:
- Why is it important for people to know the information you have gathered?
- Who do you think should know about it the most?
- Which form of media text do you think would be most effective in sharing your information to help you reach your chosen audience? Why?
- Have groups create their chosen media text to inform their target audience using the information they have gathered.
- Have groups present their media text to the class, explain their choice of audience and text, and share their rationale for the information they included in their text.
- Have students retrieve their body outlines and individually write a paragraph explaining what they have learned about cannabis and identifying one person, resource, and/or school or community support they might feel comfortable accessing to support them in making choices to keep their body healthy when dealing with mental health issues and/or choices or situations involving cannabis, and why.
Ideas For Extension
- Have groups share their media text in their school community via the school’s social media, in local community areas, or in visible places that visitors to the school might see.
- Have students investigate the effects of other drugs and intoxicating substances as part of this activity or as a second round of information gathering before creating their media text.
- Have students generate further questions they might have about cannabis or other drugs and related addictions to investigate in order to deepen or extend their learning.
- Have students investigate factors that may influence a person's decision to use drugs, and then have students use their decision-making strategies and skills to make safe personal choices about the use of drugs, such as alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis (Curriculum Expectation D2.4).
Notes To Teachers
Providing opportunities for students to explore concepts from multiple perspectives and through a variety of lenses enriches their learning.
- Consider integrating this activity into the Grade 6 Language curriculum: Writing 1. Developing and Organizing Content, Writing 2. Using Knowledge and Form and Style in Writing, and/or Media Literacy 3.Creating Media Texts, by having students create media texts, such as a poster, YouTube message, or infomercial. Consider posting students media text on the school’s social media site.
- This activity focuses on cannabis education, so students should be provided with additional opportunities to investigate the effects of other drugs and intoxicating substances and support for addictive behaviours to fully address the learning as articulated in curriculum expectations D1.2 and D1.4. This may be included as part of this activity as suggested in the Ideas for Extension above or in a follow-up activity.
- The Healthy Living expectation D2.4 is not addressed in this activity; however, it could be addressed as a follow-up activity (see Grade 6 activity “What Would I Do?” or as suggested in the Ideas for Extension above).
1Sample questions adapted from The Ontario Curriculum, Grade 1-8, Language, 2006, page 119.