Red Ribbon Curriculum

Texas educators can use these classroom lesson plans to engage 4th, 5th, and 6th graders during Red Ribbon Week in October. The plans are designed to teach students how to make healthy choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol and how to apply their knowledge by drafting substance abuse prevention legislation in their classroom and holding mock debates. These lesson plans address reading, writing, health, social studies, and new math Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) as well as English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) and College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS)See the TEKS on the Texas Education Agency's website for additional information. The Texas Department of State Health Services and Partnership for a Drug-Free Texas are excited to provide these resources in support of Red Ribbon events throughout the state.

  • The Healthy Choices Lesson Plan was designed to be taught in two 45-minute lesson blocks, and teaches students how drug and alcohol use can be prevented by making healthy choices. Students will identify the biggest concerns they have about drug and alcohol use, discuss the dangers of new drugs that they may be seeing at school, and learn some positive ways to refuse these substances if they are offered. Teach this lesson first.
  • The Legislative Lesson Plan was designed to be taught in three 45-minute lesson blocks, and teaches students how alcohol and drug use can be prevented through the legislative process. They will learn how laws are made, write a drug or alcohol prevention bill, and debate the bill before a mock legislature composed of their peers. The mock legislative sessions can be staged in the classroom.


The Red Ribbon Campaign

Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug-prevention program, reaching millions of Americans during the last week of October every year. The National Family Partnership organized the first nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign in 1988. Since that time, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children.

By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, young people pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena and pledge to live a drug-free lifestyle by wearing red ribbons. Special Agent Camarena was an 11-year DEA veteran assigned to the Guadalajara, Mexico office, where he was on the trail of the country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. On February 7, 1985, he was killed by Mexican drug traffickers. His tragic death opened the eyes of many Americans to the dangers of drugs and the international scope of the drug trade.

Each year in Texas, The Partnership for a Drug-Free Texas and the Texas Department of State Health Services hosts the Capitol Red Ribbon Rally. There, more than 1,000 Texas fifth-grade and sixth-grade students pledge to remain drug-free. Representing the Corpus Christi, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin areas, students march with placards raised high to the south steps of the Capitol for a motivational outdoor presentation. After the presentation, students move inside the Capitol where they take their places in the House and Senate Chambers. There, students discuss and vote on the drug and alcohol prevention bills they created in their classrooms prior to the rally using the Red Ribbon Curriculum posted here.