University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Lesson 2: How do we define what changes our minds?

This lesson is part of the unit:

Lesson Description:

This lesson introduces students to commonly held definitions and categorizations of “drugs” and “toxicants.” Students investigate their own ideas about these words through a categories game where they group terms into the drug, toxin, toxicant, and poison categories based on initial reactions and then a series of questions. After whole class definitions are generated, a video is shown of the University of Illinois scientists explaining their definitions of “drugs” and “toxicants” and why they define these words as such.  Based on the video and subsequent homework reading, students develop a better understanding of the difference between drug and toxicant.

Note: The unit, “What changes our minds? Foods, drugs, and the brain,” shares a common theme with the unit “What changes our minds? Toxicants, exposure and the environment.” This common theme is the investigation of how exogenous chemicals affect organisms. Lessons 1 and 2 for both units are nearly identical and introduce students to two driving questions that are shared by both units: Lesson 1’s “What changes our minds?” and Lesson 2’s “How do we define what changes our minds?.” Beginning with Lesson 3 the units begin to branch off separately with one covering concepts related to toxicants, exposure and the environment and the other covering concepts of foods, drugs, and the brain.

Materials last updated:

Sep 11, 2014

Lesson materials:

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