Decision-Making 

GRADES 3-5

Learning Goal

Students will learn the steps to make a responsible decision.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Understand five steps of decision-making
  • Practice making a decision in a group

Learning Summary

In a given day, a person makes thousands of decisions—especially a teacher! Research that shows teachers make about 1,500 decisions during a six-hour school day. That’s more decisions per minute than a brain surgeon!

This lesson introduces students to five decisions-making steps. The lesson starts with a mindful moment: students learn a new breathing technique called a triangle breath. You then lead the students in a brief discussion on why making decisions can be challenging, especially when we feel strong emotions. You then discuss the steps of making a thoughtful decision. Students then break into small groups and practice
the steps using a scenario: they’re stranded on a deserted island and need to choose which supplies are most important. The class discusses what items they would bring and how they came about their decisions. Students end by reflecting in their journals.

computer icon    Online Teaching Tips for Decision Making

For both live or record, start by teaching the steps in the lesson plan on decision making then differentiate the deserted island based on your delivery.

For the desert island activity, virtually make groups for students to do the activity in. 

For the desert island activity, have students complete the task on their own and write up the decisions they would make with their own rationale. If possible, students can post what they chose for the desert island for the rest of the class to see. To extend this, once all students have posted what they chose, the class could graph how many students chose the different items. 

CASEL Competencies

Decision-making: The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.