Decision Making

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Learning Goal

Students will learn how to make a responsible decision.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Understand the steps to making a responsible decision
  • Practice the decision-making steps
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 four decision-making steps. The lesson starts with a mindful moment in which students learn to breathe like a hibernating bear. A Munchy and Jumpy story then walk students through a poor decision that Jumpy makes and a double-day in which she is able to calm down and make a smarter decision. Following the story, you will guide your students through four steps to thoughtfully making a decision. Students end by drawing themselves making decisions (hopefully including some of the steps they learned) in their journals.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Decision Making

Use the Munchy and Jumpy story as the focus of the lesson drawing on the steps of making a decision. As the decision making steps activity is mainly direct instruction, consider using the additional activity scenarios or one of the lesson variations after the steps are taught.

Play a few rounds of “Would You Rather” with your class. You can read different options and students can make a symbol for option one and a symbol for option two to show their decision. 

Examples: “Would you rather live in a cold or warm place? Make a fist for a cold place or a high five for a warm place.” 

“Would you rather be tall or very short? Give a thumbs up for being very tall or a thumbs down for very short.” 

“Would you rather have salsa or guacamole? Do this disco move for salsa and the dab move for guacamole.” [Or whatever movements!]

For the introduction on decision making, skip the student responses and share your own personal story of making a difficult decision that is relatable to your students.

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