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Where do medicines come from?

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Where do medicines come from?

Finding out about medicines

This resource provides support for a series of lessons on medicines – what they do and how to use them safely.

It looks at how medicines are discovered, developed and tested through the eyes of a little girl called Ellie.

Ellie's medicine

This resource takes the form of a PowerPoint presentation which can be used with an Interactive White Board, projected on a screen, or printed on paper.

The story is told through the eyes of a little girl who feels poorly, falls asleep and dreams about how a medicine is made. Her dream journey takes her from a visit to the doctors to the scientists who come up with new chemicals which might act as medicines.

The story has simple, bright illustrations inspired by children’s own drawings. Teachers can edit the story if they wish to adapt the resource for their own needs.

The PowerPoint is available in English, Welsh (Southern and Northern versions).

Ellie's medicine activity

This is a cut and paste activity with scenes from the story. There are two versions to allow for differentiation – one without any text and one with very short pieces of text. The activity reinforces the science about medicines presented in the story, and also offers pupils the opportunity to develop cross-curricular skills such as ordering and sequencing events, looking for the chronological and logical orders of events and recalling a story.

  • Children cut out the boxes and put them in the right order – the reverse of the story! Their 'flow diagram' should start with finding a new chemical which might make a new medicine, and finish up with a picture of doctors prescribing some medicine.
  • Once the pictures have been correctly ordered, they can be coloured in. If there is time, pupils may enjoy adding a picture of themselves to each box. More able pupils can add writing to the boxes to explain what is happening in more detail. Less able pupils may need support with the ordering.
  • The completed boxes can be stuck down in order on a piece of paper headed 'Where do medicines come from?'
  • The boxes should be linked by arrows from top to bottom.
  • If there is time remaining children could illustrate the page around the flow chart with pictures of different medicines.
  • Each pupil should end up with a poster titled 'Where Do Medicines Come From?' This can be used as display work, possibly in conjunction with the Making Medicines posters