NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW. See Climate Schools.
The aim of this activity is to visually demonstrate the number of 14 year olds who use cannabis. Teenagers tend to overestimate the number of their peers that have tried drugs. But the reality is that most teenagers do not use cannabis. In fact, only 12% of teenagers have tried cannabis in the last year. That’s 1 in 8.
Get the entire class to stand up and read out the following questions. If they have done the following thing in the last year get them to remain standing up, and if they have not, get them to sit down.
Next, get the entire class to stand back up and read out the next question.
In the last year, have you:
- Been to the beach?
- Been to the movies?
- Eaten fruit?
- Played sport?
Now ask the entire class to sit down, except for 2 people.
Explain that this is the proportion of people their age who have used cannabis in the last year.
Get the class to discuss why or why not they think people use cannabis.
- Students gain an accurate perception of the number of their peers who have tried cannabis.
Secondary teachers reviewed this and other Climate School activities, with 92.3% rating these activities as good or very good. This particular activity was among the most popular activities selected for implementation by teachers.
The benefits of implementing individual activities from the Climate schools has not been examined. The benefits of implementing the entire 6 session Climate schools program has been supported by multiple research studies, see Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis Module.