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Tobacco and Literacy Education Project: Reading and Writing About Secondhand Smoke

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector

Activity Description

This site offers three lessons: a math lesson on calculating the cost of smoking; a language arts lesson which is a reading and writing activity on the topic of secondhand smoke; and using research skills to find out more about tobacco and smoking. In this lesson students will learn about secondhand smoke through reading and writing activities. The lesson provides language arts practice including reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and writing skills practice, as well as some basic math practice using percents. While furthering the core language arts goals of the adult education classroom, this lesson meets a key tobacco education need: showing learners that secondhand smoke harms the health of nonsmokers, especially young children.


  1. All the information and materials you need to conduct three language arts activities are found at the link above labeled Example Web Site.
  2. Download and print the language arts lesson including the student materials and the take home assignment if you want to use it. The reading materials are at two levels, so decide which students need which level and make the appropriate number of copies of each.
  3. You will want to visit the two Web sites contained within the lesson that are used as reference sites with background materials to introduce the topic and activities. Since it appears that the materials at the Surgeon General's site seem to have moved, here are more current links to those materials:
  4. You may also decide to send students to the CDC links for further study at home or in a computer lab. If so, figure out what method you want to use to get them to the Web sites. See the Teacher's Tips below for ideas if you need them.


  1. Rather than duplicate the lesson content here, just refer to the lesson at the Example Web Site (above).
  2. In addition to the lesson, you may want to use some sort of flashcard tool to help with the new vocabulary words. Several of those are available online. You may want to try Flashcard Machine  or Quizlet.

Teacher Tips

  • The Teacher Notes and Answer Key are found at the end of the lesson document. The "tips" found in the side bars of the teacher's notes provide some good ideas for lesson presentation and student grouping.
  • In order get students to the Web sites, you can make them Favorites or Bookmark the sites on each computer browser, e-mail them the links, e-mail a word processing document with the links in it, or post the links on your class Web page.

More Ways

  • Be sure to check the other two lessons at this site for math and research skills lessons.


  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (1.6) Understand consumer protection measures
  • (1.5) Understand how to manage household finances
  • (1.2) Use information to identify and purchase goods and services
  • (1.1) Use measurement and money

Basic Communication

  • (3.5) Understand basic principles of health maintenance
  • (3.4) Understand basic safety measures and health risks

Basic Communication

  • (6.4) Compute with percents, rate, ratio, and proportion

Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.