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Brain Power: Grades 4-5

Procedures/Discussion Questions


  1. Begin the mission by reviewing with students what they learned in the previous module about the effects of stimulants on the brain and the nervous system. Suggest that the students take a few moments to review their notes from Module 4.
  2. Tell students that during this module, they are going to learn about the effects of alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants on the brain, the nervous system, and the body.
  3. Pass out the Alcohol, Marijuana, and Inhalants Fact Sheet (PDF, 90KB). Give the students a few moments to read it over. Then divide them into their working groups.
  4. Have the students watch the first segment of the DVD. Stop the DVD at the break.
  5. Tell the students that their mission is to draw a picture of the human body and indicate how stimulants, alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants affect the brain, the nervous system, and the body. The challenge is to figure out how to show all the effects of these drugs on the multiple systems in the body. Before beginning this activity, spend some time brainstorming ways to show all the effects of these drugs on one poster. The students may want to develop a color-coded key to represent different drugs. They also may want to draw a close-up of the brain to highlight the parts of the brain and the neurotransmitters affected.
  6. When the picture is completed, conduct a discussion on what the drawing shows.
  7. Conclude the mission by watching the remainder of the video or DVD. Discuss the many ways that drugs affect the body and the nervous system, resulting in major impairments.

Discussion Questions

  1. Show the students the Brain Power! DVD. It depicts the other science club working on this activity, but they are having trouble. Ask the students why that is the case. Then ask them to consider whether the kids in the DVD have all the information they need to complete the activity.
  2. Ask the students what collaboration is. Discuss what role collaboration plays in science. Ask them if they think there is any value to collaborating with the other science club working on this module.
  3. Ask the students what the differences were between the SPECT brain image of a person with 12 years of marijuana use and the SPECT brain images of healthy people. Ask them if brain activity was increased or decreased in the brain of the person who had used marijuana.

This page was last updated September 2012

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Cite this article

NIDA. (2012, September 1). Brain Power: Grades 4-5. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/brain-power/brain-power-grades-4-5

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