Learning activity for Junior High and High School

Expected Outcome:

Youth will learn facts about marijuana to counter common myths and misconceptions.

Focus Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:22 (NRSV)

“Shun youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

Materials needed

    What is Marijuana handout (Print from PDF file)
    Marijuana Game Show Fact Sheet (Print from PDF file)
    Marijuana Game Show Answer Sheet (Print from PDF file)
    Prevalence of Marijuana Use Chart

Tips for Youth Leaders

There are many myths and a lot of misinformation about marijuana use. For example most youth overestimate the number of people who smoke marijuana. It is important to let young people know that this perception is incorrect. In fact, most people do not smoke marijuana. Young people are more likely to use marijuana, alcohol or other drugs if they believe everyone else is using them.

The following activities will help clear up some of those inaccuracies through a game show format (a take off of the Jeopardy Game.) Using this format will make it easier, more fun for the group to participate in and retain the information.

Activity directions

Step 1 – Briefly review the following definition of marijuana:
Marijuana is a dried mixture of leaves, vines, seeds and stems of a hemp plant called cannabis sativa. It is generally used to make homemade cigarettes called “joints or reefers” which are smoked.

Step 2 - In small groups of three or four people, ask them to come up with the percentage of teens they believe use marijuana in the United States. Ask them also to discuss what percentage of their peers and/or classmates at their school they believe smoke marijuana.

Step 3 – Give the small groups five minutes to complete the task. Ask each group to report their findings regarding national marijuana use. Record the percentages and have them compare those numbers to the actual percentages on the following chart.

Prevalence of Marijuana Use-Year 2000 Data*
Marijuana use 8th grade 10th grade 12th grade combined
Past month 9.1% 19.7% 21.6% 16.8%
Daily 1.3% 3.8% 6.0% 3.7%

* Monitoring the Future, 2000

Then ask each team to report the percentage of teens in their church they guess smoke marijuana. Now do you think that is accurate? Why or why not? Be sure to tell the students that the majority of teens nationally and locally do not smoke marijuana and/or use other drugs. If you can obtain actual numbers for use at the community or school level share those as well and compare.

Step 4
Quiz Show directions:

    Make two copies of the Marijuana Game Show Fact Sheet. Cut each sheet into strips, each strip contains one statement or fact.
    Divide the group into two teams. Distribute a set of statements to each team.
    As the youth leader, you will serve as “Quiz Show Host” for the Marijuana Game Show. The game show is based on the “Jeopardy” television show. You will read an “answer” aloud from “the Game Show Marijuana Answer Sheet.

Team members will identify the statement corresponding to that fact (from their fact strips) and phrase a question from it, which can be answered by the fact that you read.

For example, you read, ”The answer is, THC.”

Team members must find the corresponding fact statement and phrase a question, e.g., “What is the mind-altering or psychoactive ingredient of marijuana called?”

The teams score points for each right answer. Each team must come up with a unique sound to indicate they know the “question.”(oinking like a pig, siren, etc)

After you read each answer, the team that makes their sound first gets the opportunity to respond. If they respond incorrectly, the other team takes their turn.

The team with the most points wins! But of course everyone wins because they all learned the facts about marijuana.

Step 5 – Conclusion
Congratulate both teams for their quick thinking in completing the Marijuana game. Remind the group that most young people report that their close friends would disapprove if they smoked marijuana even just once in awhile. Ask the group if they were surprised by any of the marijuana facts that they learned today. Have them finish the statement;

“I was surprised to learn that marijuana or using marijuana _____________”

Click here for Learning Activity 4 – Handout A.

Click here for Learning Activity 4 – Handout B.