This post is sponsored by Ask, Listen, Learn. All opinions are my own.
Do you want to help students understand how cannabis affects their developing brains? There is a free resource for teachers, students and families, you’re going to love!
Responsibility.org’s Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix is a science-based underage drinking prevention program complete with seven lesson plans for educators. They’ve also developed resources for parents dedicated to preventing underage drinking. Today, I have a new resource from this organization to share with you. They’ve launched a new cannabis unit, and we’ll dive into all of the details in this post.
Free Resources from Ask, Listen, Learn
The team at Ask, Listen, Learn has just launched the eighth installment to their curriculum . This one focuses on how cannabis affects the developing brain. You might remember how I shared some of their fantastic, free resources on the blog last year. After listening to their community of educators and parents’ requests, they’ve updated the program to reflect the need for information and education about cannabis that helps kids understand how it affects them and why they should stay away from this and other risky behaviors.
If you have explored their resources before, Ask, Listen, Learn is free, digital, and evidence-based, and consistently evaluated. Their resources focus on the science behind underage alcohol and cannabis use. Specifically, what the developing brain does, what alcohol and cannabis do to it, and what that does to kids.
They work with partners in education you might have heard of before. These partners include the American School Counselors Association, the National Association of School Nurses, Classroom Champions, and Discovery Education. When the team at Ask, Listen, Learn was creating the programming on cannabis, they focused on the science of the developing brain first and foremost. Their curriculum presents the facts to students, then shares resources with families and educators to engage in conversations to help kids make healthy choices.
How Marijuana Affects the Developing Brain
When you head over the Ask, Listen, Learn resource landing page, you’ll find the seven original modules and the new one, titled, “How Marijuana Affects the Developing Brain.” In this section, you’ll find a video (like this one), as well as teacher, family, and student resources. There is a lesson plan all about how cannabis affects the developing brain along with vocabulary cards and additional activities.
On this page of resources, you’ll find a PDF you can download full of comprehension questions. This PDF might be one you use for independent or partner work or one that sparks discussions in your classroom as students dive into the resources. If students explore this content asynchronously in a virtual learning environment, they can watch the video and use this guide to help prepare for live discussions with their classmates.
I love how Ask, Listen, Learn has everything you’ll need to explore this topic with students. There is an educator primer that goes through the background of how cannabis affects the developing brain and a letter you can send home to families. This letter explains what information is covered in the unit and data to support the importance of exploring this topic with students. The new unit – and all other lessons – are aligned to Common Core, Next Gen Science, and National Health Education Standards.
Cannabis Resources for Families
In addition to the content designed for educators to use in their classrooms, Ask, Listen, Learn also has developed resources specifically for families. You’ll find videos and important facts on how cannabis affects the developing brain on this on this page, specifically for parents and caregivers.
You might decide to share this page with families in the weeks leading up to classroom conversations on this topic. Alternatively, you might send these resources home as a follow-up or reminder on how they can extend these conversations with their children.
Red Ribbon Week is October 23-31, 2020, and the perfect time to dive into these resources.
Ready to get started? Head over to this page with the seven original units on how alcohol affects the developing brain. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page to explore the new unit on how cannabis affects the developing brain. While you’re there, be sure to sign-up for their amazing email community to stay up to date with their latest resources to keep your kids healthy and substance free.