Decision Making

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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 the five decision-making steps
  • Practice decision-making in small groups
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 experience a guided body scan led by another student or adult in the classroom. You then lead a class conversation about the big decisions middle-schoolers are faced with. Then you teach/review the five steps to making a thoughtful decision. Small groups then review various difficult decision scenarios and list two possible positive decisions they could make as well the consequences. The class discusses the different scenarios, decisions they made, and the process they used. Students end by reflecting in their journals about important recent decisions in their lives.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Decision Making

Follow the script for the body scan as the opening mindful moment and encourage students to turn off their cameras. For another activity, consider using the deserted island project found under lesson variations as either a small group or independent activity.

For the decision-making activity, split students into groups and send out the scenario printouts for each group to fill out. Optional to have each student work independently on the printout then discuss as a class.

As a recorded option, the decision making worksheet can be done independently and turned in as homework. Additionally, consider using the decision making video found under the additional activity.

CASEL Competencies

Responsible decision-making: The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. This includes the capacities to consider ethical standards and safety concerns, and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being.
casel wheel decision