Choices and Consequences
People Are Defined by Choices They Make; Each Choice Has Consequences; Communities Are Built by Choices
Lesson Objectives: Students understand that choices have consequences. We as individuals and as members of groups are defined by the choices we make, and those choices have consequences that affect not only our lives but the lives of others. In this last lesson, students draw upon key concepts learned in the previous lessons as they explore the idea that we as individuals and members of groups can make a positive difference in our lives and the lives of others.
Curriculum Areas: Social studies, life skills, character education, language arts
Time Required: 40 minutes
Materials Needed: Copies of Lesson 10 Reproducible (PDF); board and markers
Key Concept: Our choices have consequences; these consequences have far-reaching effects.
Lesson Background: The choices we make, both large and small, may not seem important at the time, but little by little they form an individual, shape a community, and ultimately define a nation. Our choices build on the efforts of earlier generations and leave a legacy for those to come. Our choices matter. Our choices can be harmful to a community or strengthen it.
What You Will Do:
- Review with students the definitions of choice and consequence, as well as the information in the Lesson Background.
- Hand out Lesson 10 Reproducible, “Strengthening My Community.” Working individually or in pairs, have students brainstorm ways that they might strengthen their school community based on what they have learned in this program. (You can review key concepts/definitions for students from earlier lessons.)
- In the center of the circle, have students add the word “School.” Each box around the circle represents an area of the school community: “Events,” “Clubs & Teams,” “Rules,” and “Celebrations.” (Note: Students can easily add an additional box if they come up with another area.)
- Have students suggest at least one activity for each of the four areas and at least one possible outcome (“Consequence”) of that activity that might contribute to a stronger, more respectful school community.
- After students complete the activity, have the class discuss the pros and cons of the various proposals in terms of possible consequences. Students might even choose to carry out one or more as a class project.
Help students realize that the choices they make, and the consequences of those choices, can affect themselves and others.
- As a take-home extension, have students brainstorm ways they might strengthen another community they are part of (e.g., local town and city, neighborhood, family, places of worship, after-school groups). You can distribute additional copies of the reproducible for this extension.
- In small groups or with a partner, students might plan a lesson for a first-grade class that teaches the importance of mutual respect. If possible, make arrangements for students to teach their lesson.
action (noun) something one does to achieve a result or purpose
choice (noun) the power or opportunity to be able to select or choose; something that has been selected or chosen
consequence (noun) what happens as the result of an action