Alcohol’s Effects on the Brain

Alcohol’s Effects on the Brain: A Reach Out Now Mobile Application is a science-based curriculum for fifth- and sixth-grade classroom use. Developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this interactive mobile application is divided into six units. Each unit describes the function of one of six parts of the brain and ways in which alcohol use can disrupt this function. Each unit also provides facts related to underage alcohol use that will be of interest to this age group.

Four of the six units feature a narrated scenario that enables students to consider how they might respond to a situation involving alcohol use. Students can video-record their responses individually or as a team. Teachers can have the students replay their responses, now combined with the scenario, for class discussion. Alternatively, teachers may ask students to describe their responses to the scenario in a writing assignment. The remaining two units feature a card-matching game and a word scramble, both of which reinforce the content in those units.

Students who complete all six units are rewarded with access to the Brain Snatchers game. Teacher materials include a discussion guide with key concepts, objectives, and questions; suggested cross-curricular use of the app’s content; and a list of resources related to underage alcohol use. Content is presented in both print and audio to make this app accessible to all students.

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