Previously known as Climate Schools, OurFutures was developed by researchers based at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney, Australia. See the OurFutures website for more information.
Individual worksheet followed by class activity.
The aim of this activity is to visually demonstrate the number of 12-15 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. A large national survey of Australian Secondary School Students (ASSAD 2017) found that in people aged 12-15 (Year 7-10), 3% had used cannabis in the past week, 5% had used it in the past month, and 9% had ever used cannabis in their lives.
Step 1: Have students fill out the worksheet individually.
Step 2: Get the entire class to stand up and read out the following questions. If they have done the following thing 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.
- Have you watched Netflix in the past week?
- Have you played a game of sport in the past month?
- Have you been on an overseas trip in your life?
Step 3: Now ask the entire class to sit down, except for 1-2 people (this is approximately 9% of your class). Explain that this is the proportion of people their age who have ever used cannabis in their lives.
Step 4: 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 OurFutures 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 OurFutures has not been examined. The benefits of implementing the entire 6 session OurFutures program has been supported by multiple research studies, see OurFutures: Alcohol & Cannabis Module.