Sunday, March 14, 2010

Student Feedback: Alcohol Simulation Stations

Last week, I was able to use the alcohol simulation stations activity with my seventh graders. I adapt the activity to fit our class length (45 minutes) as well as the attention span of seventh grade students. I included five stations, which I found to be enough to get the point of the lesson across.

Whenever I use activities like this, I ask for the students to write a brief reflection on what they experienced. The chart they filled out during class had the factual information they needed, so for the reflection I wanted to know their opinions on the activity, how they felt about their experience, and what they were going to do with the information they learned.

The lesson went really well! There were some logistical issues I could fix, but when it came time to go over the chart, I could see the light bulbs go off in their heads. I was very happy at how things went, and my initial concerns that the lesson wouldn't click with seventh grade students were false.

I e-mailed Dr. Whalen, who helped create this activity, with some student responses. Below are selected thoughts from some of those responses. A few are in their entirety, others are excerpts. I've included them with grammatical errors and all. Enjoy!

"I really enjoyed the station activity about alcohol. I enjoyed this activity because they were all very challenging, which makes me want to keep going."

"I didn't think it was going to be hard to complete all these challenges until I tried."

"Something that would be easy to do normally was very difficult during the activity when we were 'under the influence' of alcohol."

"This is the best activity we've done all year, I think."

This next one is from one of my brighter students, who also told me he used this opportunity to showcase his vocabulary: "Today in health class, we did various activities designed to simulate alcohol abuse. For instance, take the 'foggy glasses' activity. In this activity, the participant donned spectacles obstructed with a foreign substance, most likely petroleum jelly. The wearer was then required to painstakingly navigate an ordinary sewing thread through the literal 'eye of the needle.' However, since a needle could be potentially dangerous in a situation where one's vision was impaired, a small chain was implemented as a safety precaution. I personally felt extremely frustrated and frigghtfuly incompitant at simple everyday tasks while performing this staton. This station was ment to simulate how your vision could be adversely affected in a situation where alcohol was abused. One could easily crash an automobile or at the very least stumble and fall down while being influenced by alcohol. And so, in conclusion, I enjoyed these activities immensely. I believe that be demonstrating the negative affects of alcohol to students, more lives can be saved. In the time-honored words of Officer S., 'Smoking kills more people, but alcohol ruins more lives.' "

"I really enjoyed todays class we were up and moving and really experimenting. I would so much rather do class activities like that because we get to feel what it's like. I really enjoyed todays class I think we should have more classes like todays."

"I never really understood what an alcoholic went through. I thought that an alcoholic could control themselves, and I didn't know how much alcohol affects the body. In the end I now understand what an alcoholic goes through when drinking and this acitivty has taught me not to drink."

"The activities that we did in class today really helped show me what it would feel like to drink all the time. I liked the balloon juggling station because it showed how hard it is to juggle other things in your life when you're focused on alcohol."

Next up: some great, interactive diagrams of the male & female reproductive systems I'm using for puberty!


  1. Fav. Post yet!
    I actually remember doing the "goggles" back in High School... It stopped me for the most part...

  2. Ah, I wish I could post the video of the kids during the lesson! You'd really be able to see why I love this lesson so much...I'll have to show you the video sometime, so you'll really get a feel for the lesson's objectives. Check out the handout for more information! :)


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