Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests

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On Smoking and Drinking Alcohol: An Online Treasure Hunt
For Third Year High School (Health Education)

Authored by E. Manzo and P. Arinto

Introduction

Many people today drink alcohol and smoke. For many, these two activities are a status symbol, a sign of maturity and sophistication. In fact, however, habitual smoking and drinking alcohol have many harmful effects on one’s health.
In this online treasure hunt, you will find out exactly what disadvantages to health are brought about by habitual smoking and drinking alcohol. It is hoped that knowing about these will discourage you from taking up these unhealthy habits and help you explain to others why they shouldn’t smoke and drink alcohol.

Here’s how the treasure hunt works: In groups of three or four, look for the answers to the questions below in the websites listed. Simply click on the website URL or address to be able to open and read it. After answering all of the small questions, proceed to the Big Question. Be sure to work as a team.

Questions

  1. What is alcoholism?
  2. What happens when people drunk frequently or when they drink large quantities of alcohol?
  3. Why is adolescent drinking a cause for concern or worry?
  4. What are the likely causes of drinking among young people? Do these differ for girls and boys? Explain briefly.
  5. What may explain the difference in the effect of alcohol on men and women?
  6. What diseases are caused by smoking tobacco?
  7. Is the filter in cigarettes sufficient protection from the harmful effects of tar? Explain your answer.
  8. What is the addictive substance found in cigarettes?
  9. Is smoking among young people widespread? Briefly explain your answer.
  10. Since it is addictive, smoking can’t be stopped. Do you agree? Explain your answer.

Resources

Alcoholism
http://www.ncadd.org/facts/defalc.html

Myths about alcohol for teens
http://www.madd.org/under21/0,1056,1157,00.html

Problem drinking
http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/Mosby_factsheets/alcohol_abuse.html

Alcohol and teen drinking
http://www.focusas.com/Alcohol.html
http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc98/1_24_98/fob1.htm

Alcohol use among girls
http://www.health.org/govpubs/rpo993/

Health and health–risk behaviors: drugs, alcohol and smoking
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs/messlup3.pdf

Harmful effects of cigarettes
http://www.smartlink.net/~phillipj/smoking.htm

Effects of smoking
http://www.quit-smoking-stop.com/harmful-smoking-effects.html

Cigarettes inside out
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hecs-sesc/tobacco/youth/scoopintxt.html

Don’t get sucked in
http://www.tobaccofacts.org/suckedin/index.html
(Reminder: Click on the ingredients to get the information.)

Questions about smoking, tobacco and health
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_2x_Questions_About_Smoking_Tobacco_and_Health.asp

Health effects of smoking among young people
http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/research_data/youth/stspta5.htm


The Big Question

Interview a young person or teenager who drinks alcohol and who smokes cigarettes (you may interview two different people: one who drinks and another who smokes). Ask him/her:

  • when he/she started the habit
  • why he/she drinks and/or smokes
  • whether he/she knows the harmful effects of drinking and/or smoking on health, on relationships (if any), and other aspects of his/her life
  • if he/she were to quit drinking and/or smoking, what will help him/her to do so

When doing the interview take care that your interviewer is not offended by your line of questioning. First, explain why you are doing the interview and that the identity of your interviewee will not be revealed (do NOT write his/her name in your final report; assign a fictitious name). During the interview, be polite. Do not sound judgmental; instead be open-minded. Your job is NOT to persuade your interviewee to stop drinking or smoking. Instead you are trying to come up with a profile of a young person or teenager who smokes or drinks.

Write up the interview in question and answer form, with an introductory paragraph describing the circumstances of the interview and a concluding paragraph in which you write your insights/reflections on what you found out.

You will do the interview and write-up as a group. Be sure to work together; make sure all members of your group make a contribution. Submit your write-up two weeks from today.

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