In 2007, NOFAS published FASD Kindergarten through 12th Grade Education and Prevention Curriculum with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The comprehensive, school-based curriculum was developed in collaboration with ToucanED, a California-based firm specializing in standards-based curricula and health marketing. Pilot testing was conducted in conjunction with Education Development Center (EDC), a global nonprofit organization that designs, delivers and evaluates innovative programs in education and health.
The K-12 curriculum addresses many important topics for school-aged students beyond FASD and what can happen to human development when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. It teaches about the overall effects that alcohol can have on the body, why some people who drink alcohol become addicted while others do not, that at any age each individual has strengths and weaknesses, and that it matters how you treat people. The United States Surgeon General and other prominent public health officials consistently emphasize that early education about healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors is essential in order to prevent multifaceted health concerns such as FASD.
The curriculum fills the need for FASD educational materials and lesson plans that can be implemented in classroom settings without specialized training or knowledge. It provides students with age-appropriate information about the consequences of prenatal alcohol consumption on human development while educating them about acceptance of all people regardless of individual capabilities or disabilities. It consists of four units or modules: Kindergarten through second grade; third grade through fifth grade; sixth grade through eighth grade; and ninth grade through twelfth grade. These unique 30-45 minute units have been mapped to the American Association for Health Education’s National Health Education Standards by grade level, and are designed to be easily integrated into a standard curriculum and to be presented in a single classroom session.
The FASD curriculum consists of the following four units:
Kindergarten through Second Grade
A storybook, Karli and the Star of the Week, was developed and incorporated into a lesson that encourages students to understand and be accepting of others’ abilities and disabilities. The module includes the storybook, lesson plan, and a CD-ROM with teacher background information.
Third Grade through Fifth Grade
This module presents a healthy lifestyle model that teaches students to distinguish harmful substances from healthy substances while incorporating the basics on the responsible and appropriate use of alcohol for adults. The lesson emphasizes the dangers alcohol can have on a pregnant woman’s unborn child through a brief introduction to FASD. The unit includes the lesson plan and a CD-ROM containing teacher background information and activity sheets.
Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
The sixth grade through eight grade module shifts from the foundation building of the K-2 and 3-5 to an anatomical approach with an emphasis on the physical affects that alcohol has on the developing brain. This is demonstrated through the use of a 3-D brain model that compares an underdeveloped brain hemisphere prenatally exposed to alcohol to a fully developed healthy brain hemisphere. The unit includes the lesson plan, 3-D brain model, and a CD-ROM with teacher background information and activity sheets,
Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade
Decision-making skills are crucial at this stage in life. This unit incorporates excerpts from an award-winning episode of the popular television drama, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, that features an FASD storyline. It engages students in a decision-making skills discussion related to alcohol use and pregnancy. The lesson presents students with information on FASD and the importance of abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy and asks students to discuss addiction-related issues. The module includes a lesson plan, the Law & Order: SVU excerpts, and a CD-ROM with teacher background information and activity sheets.
For more information on the NOFAS K-12 FASD curriculum and to request a copy contact NOFAS.