Introduction

Alcohol education is becoming more and more important. Young people need to know about the effect alcohol has on their bodies, minds and social environment. Alcohol and your body addresses the difficult issue of a neutral stance about alcohol - leaving the decision making process to the indvidual once they have a grasp of the facts. It comes as three pre-prepared lessson plans.

The programme maintains a straight-forward approach to the topics with a focus on facts. The lessons point out the hazards associated with alcohol abuse but pupils are prompted and encouraged to form their own judgements about the pros and cons of alcohol consumption. The materials take a neutral stance on the relative merits of moderate consumption and total abstinence.

The programme consists of three 40-minute lessons.Each lesson is signposted to the relevant national curriculum areas and could be enhanced to exploit opportunities to make more of such links.

Lesson plans are supported by photocopiable activity sheets and illustrations.

Lesson Plans

1: Health and alcohol

Learning objectives: To raise awareness of the immediate effects of alcohol consumption and to prompt thinking about the options in regard to alcohol.

Rationale: This lesson introduces and examines the concepts of “healthy” and “unhealthy” lifestyles considering factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol and other drug use. It offers the teacher a valuable opportunity to informally assess pupils’ existing knowledge and prevailing attitudes to health and lifestyle choices. Pupils have the opportunity to make a basic self-assessment of their own lifestyle through the use of a simple activity and diet log.
The biological processes associated with drinking alcohol are introduced. No judgements are made at this stage about the wisdom or folly of different levels of alcohol consumption. This lesson aims simply to get across the science of how the body deals with alcohol.

2: Alcohol effects

Learning objectives: To raise awareness of the consequences of alcohol consumption and to prompt thinking about the options in regard to alcohol.

Rationale: This lesson addresses issues associated with the effects of alcohol during and after an episode of drinking.
As well as the immediate physical and mental

 

effects of alcohol, the lesson briefly looks at the costs of drinking – for the individual and for society as a whole. The lesson also covers the common “morning after” effects of excessive alcohol consumption.
It is possible that these topics could raise issues for some pupils – either because they have experienced the effects directly or because they have been affected indirectly as a result of friends or family having been affected. If possible try to run the lesson before a break or leave a little time free at the end of the lesson in case any pupil(s) are concerned or want to talk to you about their experience.

3: Lifestyle choices

Learning objectives: To raise awareness of the consequences of alcohol consumption and to prompt thinking about the options in regard to alcohol.

Rationale: This lesson adopts a very straight-forward approach, presenting facts as preparation for pupils to make their own choices. It is not expected nor particularly desirable that pupils should be making pledges of lifelong abstinence.
The approach of the programme of lessons is to present reliable information that will encourage pupils to think rationally about the life-choices that they can make to enhance their lives. Among these will be choices about alcohol use.