The Ideas for Action guide is meant to be a starting point — to encourage you, the students, to start conversations about topics related to cannabis in your school and community. It is a resource to get you, other students, your teachers, and your whole school community started in planning activities in your schools. This guide provides key information about existing programs and resources, tips for getting started, things to consider, sources of support in your community, in Ontario, and across Canada, and activity ideas.
Feel free to change the activities to fit your school community. Each activity includes instructions as well as ideas for getting more creative. Be sure to make each activity your own!
When selecting an activity, it’s important to think about whether it’s appropriate for your group. Also consider the age of your audience and whether you’re planning something for the whole school or a smaller group. Most of the activities in this guide can be adapted for different ages, experience levels, and group sizes.
If you’re not sure that an activity is a good fit for your school, talk to a teacher or another member of your school community about how you might change the activity to make it more appropriate. You can also connect with your school public health nurse, school guidance counsellor, mental health lead, or community elder who can provide guidance and support in this area.
Why use Ideas for Action: Cannabis Education?
Educators: With this guide we want you to provide your students the opportunity to explore topics related to cannabis to increase their awareness and help them develop the knowledge and skills to make informed, healthy decisions. We also want you to be an ally to students to help them initiate conversations about topics related to cannabis with their peers and in their school.
Students: With this guide we want you to not only start conversations about topics related to cannabis (for example, effects of cannabis use, habits and behaviours leading to addictions, healthier alternatives, local issues and trends, sources of support, skills to respond to challenges and influences, connections to a healthy school community) in your school, but also to get you thinking critically and making the best choices for yourself. This could look very different in each school, or even among different groups in the same school, and that’s okay – it’s up to you!
It’s important that your plan fit your school. Things to think about include the following:
- Who in your school do you want to talk to? For example, do you want to communicate to all students, a specific grade, or a specific student group such as student council, a sports team, or a club?
- What teachers, school staff, or community members could you look to for support and partnership?
- How many activities do you want to run? For example, do you want to run several smaller activities or one large activity? What activities might you organize that could occur in online forums or using technology? How can you reach your audience through virtual learning or technology?
- When do you want to run activities? For example, do you want to connect an activity to a key date like the end of the school year, plan a month of activities leading up to the end of the school year, or perhaps run one activity per month for the whole year? Remember, everyone deserves to feel safe, respected, and included.