Smoking Really Stinks!: A Read4Health Lesson Plan

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Content Area(s):  
Grade Level(s):  
Grade Level Expectations:  
Comprehensive Health and Physical Education › Second Grade › Identify the dangers of using tobacco products and being exposed to second-hand smoke
Reading, Writing, and Communicating › Second Grade › Discussions contribute and expand on the ideas of self and others
Reading, Writing, and Communicating › Second Grade › Questions are essential to analyze and evaluate the quality of thinking
Reading, Writing, and Communicating › Second Grade › Reference materials help us locate information and answer questions
Lesson Plan Details
4-5 class periods
Essential Question: 

Why do people choose to smoke when they know it's bad for them?

Why is it important to be able to refuse something you do not want?

How do I communicate to friends and/or family that I do not want to smoke?

Learning Objectives/Student Outcomes: 

Students will know:

  • the skills of refusal communication allow individuals to resist peer pressure to smoke.
  • the dangers and physical effects of second hand smoke.
  • refusal skills.
  • new information can be learned and better dialogue created by listening actively.

Students will understand that:

  • the decision to refuse the use of tobacco products will have positive effects for one’s overall health.
  • the avoidance of second-hand smoke in the environment will have positive consequences on the body.
  • the skills of refusal communication allow individuals to resist peer pressure to smoke.
  • reference materials help us locate information and answer questions.
  • questions are essential to analyze and evaluate the quality of thinking.

Students will be able to do:

  • demonstrate avoidance of tobacco and second hand smoke.
  • use strategies/skills to refuse unwanted items or peer pressure.
  • communicate wants and beliefs related to unwanted items.
  • exploring the writing process helps to plan and draft a variety of simple informational texts.
Key Topics: 

Decision making












Prior to instruction, the teacher needs to...

Schedule a class period to use the computer lab

Put together a class set of blank books for students to write in (assessment)

Have students health journals available.

Books related to this lesson plan:

Smoking Stinks!! by Thom Buttner

No Thanks, But I'd Love to Dance by Jackie Reimer

Learning Experiences and Activities: 

In this lesson, the teacher will...

Begin by activating students prior knowledge regarding smoking. Ask the essential questions listed above. Ask students to pay close attention to the grandma's responses to Belle's questions as teacher reads aloud "No Thanks, But I'd Love to Dance" by Jackie Reimer. Teacher should then begin to read aloud the book while students jot notes in their student health journals. Students should be guided to notice that Grandma Bee's lungs were damaged as a result of smoking, that grandma lists the reasons why she chose to smoke, and the alternatives to saying "yes" to cigarettes (i.e.- repeating the title of the book as a possible response).

After listening to the read aloud and jotting down notes about the negative effects of smoking in student health journals, students should then write a short paragraph explaining how they think they would handle it if a peer asked them to smoke. Have students write about what they might say to the person and what they might do next.

During the next class period:

Prior to beginning the lesson, the teacher should front-load some important vocabulary related to the story: nicotine, addiction, bronchitis, emphysema, tobacco, and cancer. Students should record these words and definitions in their health journals along with a small picture to help them remember what each word means. Students should also practice reading and recognizing these words. The teacher will then read aloud "Smoking Stinks" by Thom Buttner. Teacher should point out that some people with common childhood illnesses, like asthma and allergies, can be more adversely affected by breathing in smoke, like Maddie and for Alex's mom in the story. Students should also be guided to compare and contrast the Grandpa's reasons for smoking in this story to Grandma Bee's reasons for smoking in "No Thanks, But I'd Love to Dance" from the previous lesson. Students should also be guided to discuss the use of chewing tobacco as mentioned in regards to baseball players using "spit tobacco" in the book. Teacher should make sure students understand that the use of chewing tobacco is still unhealthy even when there's no smoke involved. Teacher should also make sure that students pick up the underlying theme throughout the book, "There's nothing good about smoking."

After the read aloud students should re-read their notes on the vocabulary words and write down any questions they still have about smoking in the health journals.

During the next class period, students should bring their health journals to the computer lab. Students will explore and conduct research using the website:

Students should focus their research on finding and recording answers to their questions in their health journals. They should also be encouraged to take "Bonko's Body quiz" to help them reflect on their understanding of the dangers of smoking.

Finally, in the last 2 class periods students should create a mini-booklet for kindergartners. Students should be encouraged to use language appropriate for kindergarten students while explaining the dangers of tobacco use, second hand smoke, and offering some refusal strategies. These fully illustrated books should include at least 3 facts that students have learned, and at least one refusal strategy. These booklets may be shared with students' younger book buddies.



Check students' notes in their health journals. Look for appropriate questions to be listed in the journal.

After researching, look at answers to questions; clear up any miscommunications.


Students' informational booklets on the dangers of tobacco use can be assessed .

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Colorado 21st Century Skills
Critical Thinking and Reasoning: 
A. Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation
C. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
Information Literacy: 
B. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
C. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
E. Understand and use technology systems
F. Select and use applications effectively and productively
B. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
C. Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures
A. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology
B. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity
C. Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
D. Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship
A. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
B. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
C. Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues
D. Identify trends and forecast possibilities
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