CODE/MOE/UOIT Makerspaces Project

Lesson Plan:  Grade 3 Health and Language Arts:

 Substance Use, Addictions and Related Behaviour using SCRATCH


The ability to think critically and creatively will help students make healthier choices in all aspects of their lives.

Substance use and dependency can have an impact on us and on others.

Curriculum Expectations: (a sampling of expectations – not exclusive to)

Health: Substance Use, Addictions and Related Behaviour 

C1.2 demonstrate an understanding of different types of legal and illegal substance abuse (e.g., dependency on nicotine in cigarettes or caffeine in coffee, energy drinks, and colas, or sugar and salt in sports drinks, or alcohol in beer, wine, and spirits) and the impacts of abusing these substances on themselves and others

C2.3 apply decision-making strategies to make healthy choices about behaviours and the use of various substances in ways that could lead to dependencies, identifying factors that should be considered

Language: Oral Language

2.2 demonstrate an understanding of appropriate speaking behaviour in a

variety of situations, including small and large-group discussions

2.4 choose a variety of appropriate words and phrases, including descriptive words and some technical vocabulary, and a few elements of style, to communicate their meaning accurately and

engage the interest of their audience

2.5 identify some vocal effects, including tone, pace, pitch, and volume, and use them appropriately, and with sensitivity towards cultural differences, to help communicate their meaning

Language: Writing

1.1 identify the topic, purpose, audience, and form for writing

1.2 generate ideas about a potential topic, using a variety of strategies and resources

1.3 gather information to support ideas for writing in a variety of ways and/or from a variety of sources

1.4 sort ideas and information for their writing in a variety of ways

1.5 identify and order main ideas and supporting details into units that could be used to develop a short, simple paragraph, using graphic organizers

Language: Media Literacy

2.1 identify elements and characteristics of some media forms

3.1 identify the topic, purpose, and audience for media texts they plan to create

3.2 identify an appropriate form to suit the specific purpose and audience for a media text they plan to create

3.4 produce media texts for specific purposes and audiences, using a few simple media forms and appropriate conventions and techniques

4.1 identify, initially with support and direction, what strategies they found most helpful in making sense of and creating media texts

Learning Goals:

“We are learning to…”

- use the Scratch application

-create a public service announcement about one of the following: (e.g., dependency on nicotine in cigarettes or caffeine in coffee, energy drinks, and colas, or sugar and salt in sports drinks, or alcohol in beer, wine, and spirits).”

Success Criteria:  

“We will be successful when…”

- we create a short commercial in Scratch that informs the public about the use/abuse of one legal or illegible substance.”

Lesson Overview:   Students will create a public service announcement in the Scratch application that informs about the use and abuse of legal and illegal substances.

Students will research information in one of the following areas: nicotine, caffeine, sports drinks or alcohol and create a short public service announcement (commercial) in Scratch that outlines the dangers of dependency on one of these substances.

Materials and Technology:  

Chrome books

Research materials on nicotine, caffeine,  sports drinks, alcohol in beer, wine, and spirits


Graphic organizers

Student Accommodations/Modifications: Students can have information/research read to them.  Students will have the option to dictate information for their outline.  Students will be able to choose whether or not they want to record their own voice for the scratch commercial or type it in and may require assistance.

Lesson will be differentiated by:

  • Content, specifically: reduced expectations
  • Process, specifically: EA support in creating  PSA
  • Product, specifically: shorter PSA message
  • Environment, specifically:  quiet workspace, use of headphones

MINDS ON:  Getting Started

During this phase, the teacher may:

• activate students’ prior knowledge about substances;

• discuss prior research that students have completed

• engage students with discussions about the use/abuse of substances

• discuss and clarify the task(s).

During this phase, students may:

• participate in discussions;

• make connections to and reflect on prior learning and experience.

• ask questions to clarify understanding of task

Students will have a prior understanding of the use and abuse of nicotine, caffeine, sports drinks or alcohol through previous lesson plans in health. The lesson will be introduced by showing the students a number of appropriate PSA in different areas of health. For each video students will identify the message and discuss what was used to communicate the message.  Students will be asked “What characteristics define a successful PSA campaign?” (30 – 60 seconds long, entertaining, holds interest, persuasive, based on facts, clear, concise message, etc.) Students will be asked whether or not the videos use positive or negative reinforcement in their message.

Inform students that they will be taking the information that they have written in their graphic organizers to create a short PSA in Scratch.  These Scratch creations will be shared and posted on school website and YouTube channel.

Students will be working and creating their own commercial.

ACTION:  Working on it

During this phase, the teacher may:

• ask probing questions;

• clarify misconceptions, as needed

• answer students’ questions

• observe and assess;

• encourage students to represent their thinking concretely and/or pictorially;

• encourage students to clarify ideas

During this phase, students may:

• represent their thinking (using pictures, actions and words);

• participate actively in whole group, small group, or independent settings;

• explain their thinking to the teacher and their classmates;

Students may have difficulty with the Scratch application depending on their level of experience.  Some students may need scaffolding to take their information from the graphic organizer into dialogue to be used in the PSA.

Student will demonstrate their understanding of the concept by creating the commercial following the success criteria and incorporating as many of the characteristics of a PDA as they can.  Teachers could set a minimum amount and provide students with a checklist.

Assessment data will be gathered by anecdotal records (level of engagement, completion of task, # of characteristics used), summative data will be based on finished product PSA in Scratch.

CONSOLIDATION:  Reflecting and Connecting

• bring students back together to share and analyse strategies and experience with the task

• ask students what worked and what they found to be a challenge with the assignment

• clarify misunderstandings;

• relate strategies and solutions to help students who are still working on their task

• students will share their experiences with the task and technology;  

• reflect on their learning.

Students will be asked to volunteer to have their completed work shared with the class.  The class will then have a discussion to decide what criteria were met.  What was the message of this PSA?  What did you learn about…?  

Finally, there will be a class discussion about challenges and successes with the task.

Evergreen Public School—Keewatin-Patricia District School Board

Adapted from