Ways to Get Involved

How teachers can support students to make safer decisions

Thursday, 21 Jun 2018

In today’s complex world, it can be difficult for children and young people to make safe and healthy decisions. As a result, the choices by some young people to use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs can prevent them from reaching their full potential.

Designed to help young people understand the implications of alcohol and other drug use, our Decisions module works best in partnership with classroom pre and post activities.

What can I do?

A fun way to engage your students is to have them engage in a mini-debate on topics such as:

  • Legal drugs can be harmful
  • Sharing medicines is okay
  • Smoking should be banned in all public places
  • The 0.05 blood alcohol concentration should be changed to 0.0
  • Social media has a poor influence on young people

How does it work?

Before the debate begins, students sit in a horseshoe shape. Those who agree with the statement to be debated sit on the right-hand side of the horseshoe, those who disagree sit on the left-hand side and those who are undecided sit across the top of the horseshoe.

The debate begins with a speaker who agrees with the statement, followed by a speaker who disagrees with the statement and then by a person who has yet to decide. Students may change positions around the horseshoe as the debate progresses if they modify their view. Students may keep a log of their opinions and feelings, making entries each time they change positions around the horseshoe.

What will students learn?

At the conclusion of this exercise, students will be better equipped to identify factors that influence their decisions. By discussing and debating topics in this manner, you can support your students to discover and evaluate differing ideas, thoughts and information related to whichever topic you choose.

This activity is one of our suggested pre-visit activities for our ‘Decisions’ module. Life Ed has a wide range of resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum available to teachers supporting a variety of learning outcomes.