What Choice Do You Have?

6, 7, 8

Students will explore the meaning of responsibility through examining choices, making decisions, and experiencing consequences.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • analyze a situation.
  • evaluate choices, decisions, and consequences.
  • evaluate most responsible actions from student-generated responses.
  • Flip chart or board with the following headers: Choices, Decisions, Consequences


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Teacher: Have you ever promised to be responsible for something, had every intention of doing it, but it slipped your mind or you weren't on time in doing what you said you'd do? (Show of hands) Today, we're going to look at being responsible/dependable.

  2. Teacher: I'd like you to imagine this situation. You're expected to come home immediately after school to unlock the door for your younger brother and sister whose school gets out later than yours. You know you have a good twenty minutes before you absolutely must be home, so when your friend invited you to walk to his/her house to see the new video game/new outfit, you guess you can do that and still be home in time. In fact, because you and your friend stop to talk with friends on the way to his/her house, you lose track of time and only realize you're already late in getting home when you arrive at your friend's house. Your brother and sister may have already been home, standing outside, for 5 or 10 minutes. You wonder what you should do. Your anxiety increases as you wonder if they are all right. You start thinking about what your family will say. What will you do?

  3. Refer to the headers on the board (choices, decisions, consequences). Tell the students to think about the scenario and then write on paper answers to the following questions (they may make columns like the chart on the board):

    • What choices do you have?
    • What decision will you make?
    • What are the possible consequences [conclusions following specific actions] of your decision?
  4. Allow 4 minutes, and then have students pair up and share their answers. Allow 5 minutes.

  5. Ask one pair to share their three answers while you record their responses in the appropriate columns on the board. Ask for another pair to share their different answers. Ask for others to share any different answers they came up with. Record all of the possible choices, decisions, and consequences on the chart. Allow 6 minutes.

  6. Teacher: Looking at these different choices, decisions, and consequences, which appears most responsible? Why? Allow 4 minutes for students to respond.

  7. Teacher: Please think about what you have learned about the relationship between responsibility and dependability [can be counted on to follow through] today. Your ticket out of class will be your individual response to me. (Teacher stands by the door and hears each person's written or verbal comment)

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Describe how different needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society, and family.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define and give examples of the motivations for giving and serving.