Alcohol Stories

This activity is based on a lesson used in college by a professor of mine, Dr. Shannon Whalen, and Dr. Suanne Maurer-Starks. An article about the lesson was published in the American Journal of Health Education (Jul/Aug 2007) entitled, "Alcohol Stories: An Affective Teaching Technique for College Students."

In my role as a middle school health teacher, I am looking for ways to help hit home to students that alcohol can drastically affect people's lives, which has brought you here from Facebook, Twitter, or e-mails. Please consider sharing a personal story involving alcohol use from your own life. Our curriculum covers both content and skills, and this is only one part of a unit on alcohol.

In paraphrasing the guidelines from Whalen and Maurer-Starks, the story should be:

1. Something that actually happened.
2. No real names should be mentioned; use fake names or terms like friend, mother, sister.

I realize that my students are younger than high school or college students, but there are middle school aged students who consume alcohol. I hope to share stories that are real and will resonate with the lives of middle school aged students. My goal is to obtain enough stories for each student; approximately twenty five in each of my seventh grade classes. Length is not an issue.

Lastly, here are some excerpts from the Whalen and Maurer-Starks article:

"Knowing that I had been drinking, I immediately turned down a side street and tried to 'outrun' the police car..."

"My girlfriend and I drove him home in her new car...He decided to throw up all over the car and me."

Thanks for helping me out! Any questions please contact me at

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