Health Decision making in school and home scenarios
(middle grades)
Activity and Lesson plan *

Overview

Decisions are often made subconsciously and emotionally without sufficient investigation or critical thinking. The purpose of these activities is to present a decision making process, have students apply it to a school and home scenario in the hopes they will be able to make better decisions in their future lives.

Background information:

  1. Scholastic article: Teens and Decision Making: What Brain Science Reveals
  2. Discover article The Young and the Riskless by Kayt Sukel
  3. Decision Making, Critical Thinking, and Change Processes

Big ideas, concepts, facts, and outcomes

Decision-making skills to enhance health.

Big ideas: Decision-making skills are needed to identify, implement, and sustain health-enhancing behaviors. This includes essential steps needed to make healthy decisions applied to health, safety, and social issues that enables people to individually or in collaboration with others improve their quality of life.

Related concepts and facts

  • Health and safety problems are related to decision making.
  • The better a person knows them self, the better decisions they will make.
  • Knowing social skills and better social interactions improves communication and getting along with people.
  • Thinking about a problem before experiencing it will help make better decisions.
  • There are positive and negative consequences for all decisions.

Outcome

  1. Describe the relationships between making good decisions and being healthy.
  2. Describe a decision making process that includes identification of a problem, alternative solutions with positive and negative consequences, and implementation suggestions.
  3. Use a decision making process to make safe and healthy decisions that improve their quality of life.

Specific outcomes -

5.12.1 Examine barriers that can hinder healthy decision making.
5.12.2 Determine the value of applying a thoughtful decision-making process in health-related situations.
5.12.3 Justify when individual or collaborative decision making is appropriate.
5.12.4 Generate alternatives to health-related issues or problems.
5.12.5 Predict the potential short and long term impact of each alternative on self and others.
5.12.6 Defend the healthy choice when making decisions.
5.12.7 Evaluate the effectiveness of health related decisions.

Inquiry in the Practice of health

Health is the practice of making observations, isolating variables based on those observations to establish cause and effect to create explanations that can be applied for a healthy life.

Related concepts and facts

  • Observation and verifiable evidence can be used to determine safe and healthy situations.
  • Events have different and similar effects that can be positive and negative consequences on safety and health.
  • Cause and effect are associated with variables, which are used to create explanations and models, which in turn are used to understand the world and make predictable decisions.

Outcome

Use observable verifiable evidence of cause and effect and their explanations and models to reason with successful predictable usefulness.

Specific outcomes -

  1. Use observable and logical information related to health and safety to solve problems to to improve the quality of life.

Activity Sequence to provide sufficient opportunities for students to achieve the targeted outcomes.

  1. Focus student's attention by asking the main focus question.
  2. Ask and discuss the sub focus questions.
  3. Present the decision making process.
  4. Students high light ideas they feel are important to consider when making a decision.
  5. Present the 9 Step Decision Making Cycle work sheet.
  6. Present the in school scenario and let students identify their ideas on their 9 Step Decision Making Cycle work sheet.
  7. Share, discuss, and process results with scoring suggestions.
  8. Present the home scenario and let students identify their ideas on their 9 Step Decision Making Cycle work sheet.
  9. Share, discuss, and process results with scoring suggestions.
  10. Have students summarize the importance of knowing and using a decision making process.

Pedagogical ideas

Scoring guide suggestions (rubric)

Decision-making skills to enhance health

Low level: Makes decisions subconsciously and emotionally or in a manner that believes will result in the best rewards personally, socially (parents, teachers, friends, ...)

Middle level: Makes decisions with a multiple step process that uses several appropriate steps for making decisions and excludes some that may be necessary to make better decisions.

Upper level: Makes decisions with a process that includes identification of a problem, alternative solutions with positive and negative consequences, and implementation suggestions and describes benefits for a comprehensive decision making process.

Top level: Makes decisions with a process that includes focus on a process, accurate information, identification of a problem, analysis, generation of alternative options and choices with positive and negative consequences, implementation, and evaluation suggestions and describes benefits for a comprehensive decision making process.

Activities

Focus question - When do people need to make decisions?

  1. How do people make decisions?
  2. What influences their decisions?
  3. What different options do they have that are available?
  4. How are options or choices determined?
  5. How are positive and negative consequences determined for the options?
  6. How are the options evaluated?

Materials

  1. Worksheet with Nine step decision making process
  2. Blank Worksheet for a 9 Step Decision Making Cycle
  3. Decision Making, Critical Thinking, and Change Processes
  4. Scholastic article: Teens and Decision Making: What Brain Science Reveals
  5. Discover article The Young and the Riskless by Kayt Sukel

Suggested procedure:

Exploration Activities

Ask and discussion each focus question relating their answers, when appropriate, to the decision making process.

  1. How do people make decisions? Go with their gut. React without thinking. Organize a process that follows a series of steps: Identify a problem, collect information, analyze the information, generate options or choices, consider consequences, make a decision, implement, evaluate.
  2. What influences their decisions? Their emotions, past experiences, values, parents, friends, desire, rewards ...
  3. What different options do they have that are available? They can make a decision based on a logical process, consider what other authority figures would suggest, seek help, listen to a friend's advice, ...
  4. How are options or choices determined? Brain storm, from past experiences, listening to what others suggest ...
  5. How are positive and negative consequences determined for the options?Brain storm, from past experiences, listening to what others suggest ...
  6. How are the options evaluated? With the consequences, ethics, legal, moral, and values applied to consequences and risks.

Invention Activities

  1. Present the decision making process.
  2. Give each student a copy of the decision making process and ask them to high light the information they think is important to consider when making a decision.
  3. Present the 9 Step Decision Making Cycle work sheet.
  4. Present the following in school scenario and ask how they feel about the situation? Ask how they feel about each person? What affects those feelings? (What values, ethics, rules, laws...) Would they feel differently if one of the students was a friend? Brother or sister?
    • It is between classes with everyone is in class. The halls are empty as you round a corner and see someone you know really well is taking stuff from a locker that you know isn't their locker. You quickly back up and wait till you hear the locker close and he or she moves into another classroom.
      Later that day you hear that the students whose locker you saw your classmate taking stuff from has reported several items stolen (cards, gift cards, and some other things their friends had given them in the morning for his or her birthday) What do you do?
  5. After discussing how they feel, tell them they are going to use their high lighted worksheet and fill in the 9 Step Decision Making Cycle worksheet to identify and implement a decision.
  6. Share, discuss, and process decision making results with the scoring guide suggestions.
  7. Present the following home scenario and ask how they feel about the situation? Ask how they feel about the other person? How they would feel about saying yes or no? What affects those feelings? (What values, ethics, rules, laws...) Would they feel differently if the person was a brother or sister?
    • You are at a friend's house, alone, with him or her. He or she stands up and says come on... Lets have a (drink wine, beer, ...; smoke ...; or watch a video ... ) He or she has poured two drinks and reaches one to you ... ; He or she pulls two cigarettes and lights up handing one to you; types in the search box and presses return ... What do you do?
    1. Discuss how they feel.
    2. Tell them to use their high lighted worksheet and fill in the 9 Step Decision Making Cycle worksheet to identify and implement a decision.
    3. Discuss after they complete the worksheets. Be sure positive and negative ideas are included for each decision.
  8. Share, discuss, and process results with scoring guide suggestions, rubric.
  9. Have students summarize the importance of knowing and using a decision making process.

Discovery

Activity:

Focus question - Think about a personal decision you had to make that you are willing to write about and share...

Suggested procedure:

 

Lab Notes

Use the following ...

  1. Worksheet with Nine step decision making process
  2. Blank Worksheet for a 9 Step Decision Making Cycle


 

Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
homeofbob.com & schoolofbob.com