This series of modules was developed to help middle school students make healthier choices with respect to drug consumption, however the ideas explored should also empower student to make healthier decisions regarding their food and beverage intake.

During this lesson students will explore how caffeine interacts with the body and how it accomplishes this due to its structural similarity to adenosine, a chemical naturally found in the body. This class will inform students about what products contain caffeine, the description of the caffeine and adenosine molecule, an introduction to how caffeine and adenosine interact with the body and the effects they have. Developing an understanding of a molecule like caffeine, a molecule commonly consumed by the public, should make it easier to recognize how and why molecules like nicotine (in tobacco products), ethanol (in consumable alcohol), THC (in marijuana), heroin and other opioids, can have affects on the body. By providing this background, we hope middle students will make healthier choices regarding their food, drink, and drug consumption.

(This is written as the second in a series of modules involving chemicals such as sucrose/table sugar, nicotine, and ethanol. As written it should be able to stand alone from the other modules, however the first module on sucrose/table sugar may give some helpful background. The other modules are found at


Submissions from 2018


Lesson Plan: Am I More Awake? Or Just Not So Sleepy? The Effects of Caffeine (and Adenosine) on the Body, Sheryl Hemkin