Activity 9-1: Effective Decision Making
Summary In this activity students apply the six steps of effective decision making to a real problem of their choice.
Estimated Time 40 minutes
Language Arts/Drama/Social Studies Have students prepare and present, in skits, scenarios of common or not so common problems one faces in daily life. The skit pauses at the end of the problem, the class suggests a solution, and the actors build the solution into their skit (impromptu); or the skit ends at the presentation of the problem and the class discusses possible solutions.
Prerequisites and Background Information
Students have read and discussed the six steps in Section 9.
Introduce Activity 9-1 by going over the six steps used in the effective decision-making process given in their text.
Steps 1-3 Divide the class into small groups. Each group will select a real problem that is important to solve by asking for suggestions from the group. No one has to share. It is important to emphasize that names should not be used. This can help to keep confidentiality. The focus should be on the problem and not on the individual.
- a personal problem
- a problem of a friend or an acquaintance
- a school or a community problem
Allow approximately 25 minutes for each group to apply the six steps to their selected problem. They will write a full description of how the problem can be resolved.
Step 4 Have each group explain the problem they selected. Either the teacher or the class can select two of the problems/solutions for full-class discussion. (If time permits, the class can continue to discuss other selected problems or these discussions can continue for an additional class period.) The class should consider:
- Has the problem been clearly and correctly identified?
- Are the steps followed sequentially?
- Is there anything that the group may have overlooked or not considered?
- Is the recommendation realistic?
- Follow-up: give this recommendation to the person who has the problem.
Conclude Activity 9-1 by having each group give their recommended solution to the appropriate person. If feasible, ask this person to report back to the class after they have tried the solution to see how effective this recommendation was. What went well and what did not?
Use student responses on the Activity Report and their description of solutions for a real problem to assess if students can
Describe a situation in which a teenager may have to make a high-risk choice (sex, drugs, drinking) under peer pressure. Then give your suggested solution.
- Sample answers to these questions will be provided upon request.
- What are three elements of good decision making?
- What are the six steps in good decision making?
- What are four obstacles to good decision making?
- In identifying your alternatives, what two choices should you identify first to help you think of others?
- What does weighing options refer to? Why is it important?