Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sharing Red Ribbon Week Lessons

Between Red Ribbon Week and Bully Prevention, I think October is one of the busiest months for School Counselors.  Each of these topics are important in the healthy physical and emotional development of our students.  But both in one month?  It is hard to give either topic the spotlight it deserves. The planning and implementing of lessons, programs and activities is time consuming. So, I thought I would share five of my favorite Red Ribbon Week lessons.

For Kindergarten, 1st grade and possibly 2nd grade, I have updated a lesson I did years ago with a PowerPoint presentation.  Even if you don't have access to technology, this lesson can work just fine if you take "safe" and "not safe" objects and place them on a tray or in a shallow basket.  The lesson "Safe or Not Safe?" takes students through a series of slides asking them to name the safe and not safe things to put in their mouth. The safe things of course are easy, it is the "not safe" things that prompt the teachable moments and our discussion. After the slide presentation students are given a variety of pictures and take turns telling the class if the item is safe or not safe to put in their mouth.  I have a cute little tub with a big smiley mouth on it and a little mini garbage can. Students are then asked to put their pictures in the correct place.  Check out the lesson plan and PowerPoint.  I have also included a coloring sheet of unknown origin. My apologies to its author.  It was in a file I inherited and I have no idea who created it.
 Safe things I can put in my mouth.
Unsafe things that will not go in my mouth.
Safe and unsafe clip art

In First Grade (but could also be done with Kindergarten and possibly 2nd grades) I like to focus on "Who can give you medicine?"

This lesson is super easy and requires only a place to brainstorm student ideas (chart paper, chalkboard or white board) and some way for them to then indicate who can and cannot give you medicine.  (I used the die cuts above, but you could use markers or chalk, with an X or + or my pages of  red circle slash and stars clip art)  


 I laminated paper, used the die cut machine and put a magnet on the back.

The lesson is introduced by talking about why we take medicine and what medicine does for us.  I tell the boys and girls we only take medicine from "grown-ups we know and trust"  We repeat this phrase often throughout the lesson. Next we begin preparing for a brainstorming session of who can give us medicine.  To get the ideas flowing about all the people who can give them medicine, we do a brief Kagan structure, Rally Robin, for 1 minute with shoulder partners sharing back and forth.  Afterwards, the students share their ideas and I write them on the board.  And in true brainstorming fashion, I put up ALL the ideas, even the impossible ones like God, Santa, and the dog.  (All individuals they know and trust.)  Once their ideas are shared, I call on the students to come up one at a time to choose a symbol to put next to the name we are talking about. I use the red hands for "stop don't take medicine from this person" and the yellow smiley faces for "grown-ups we know and trust."  As we go through the list of people, I invite the students to participate in why this person can or can not give us medicine.



For 2nd and 3rd grade I have a PowerPoint, "What is medicine?" I created my PowerPoint based on a lesson from HealthTeacher.com, a wonderful website which, unfortunately, is no longer free.  This lesson walks children through information about medicine and introduces the word prescription and who can give these, how they can help you, and how even medicine from a doctor can hurt you if it is not yours. When I do this lesson we stop periodically throughout the lesson for partner sharing and class discussion especially when we get to the part about why we should not take another person's medicine.


The two lessons for 4th and 5th grade could actually be three lessons.  The Decision Making and Peer Pressure lesson plan is a lot of fun and begins with  discussing how we make tough decisions and ends with individuals, then partners, and finally table groups coming to a decision on the amount of candy in a jar. The peer pressure and group dynamics are an amazing thing to watch.  Be sure you time this lesson so there is an opportunity for debriefing and class discussion at the end.  It is definitely needed especially if you have some passionate students who are not easily swayed.

I like to follow-up this lesson with the Saying NO PowerPoint.  This lesson can be concluded with the just the PowerPoint, or if you have time you can continue with the role playing suggestions from slide 17 to the end.

I hope these lessons are ones that you feel you can use with your students during the month of October and Red Ribbon Week.  What are some of class lessons you present to the students at your school?




10 comments:

  1. Saw this on facebook...sharing with my co-counselor friends! Thanks!

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  2. Please do. I'm all about the sharing!

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  3. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your lessons!! What a great resource for all of us. You are appreciated! :)

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    1. You are very welcome. Please let me hear how they work for you and your students!

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  4. Thank you. This will give me something new and save time.

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    1. You're welcome! Anytime we can help each other and save a little time, that's what it's all about. Enjoy! Please let me hear how your students like the lessons.

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  5. These lessons were a life saver! Thank you for sharing!!!

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  6. You're welcome! I hope you have a great Red Ribbon Week!

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Super blog and your presenting style about the school assemblies that's are very appreciated good work.
    school assemblies

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