Decision Making Guidance Lesson
By: Alana Pazevic
Grade level: High School Special Education
Rationale and clear purpose for the unit: This lesson is aimed at students who are enrolled in special education elective classes. These students are able to take direction and follow instructions of adults, but when faced with having to make their own real-life decisions, they struggle. This activity is designed as a game to begin the process of thinking about different possible decisions one could make, without yet being in a real life situation where they freeze. The learning objectives here focused on practicing the decision making process, and beginning to think of how different decisions create different outcomes.
Applicable standard(s), objective(s), competency(ies):
-Students will begin to understand that different decisions can create different outcomes.
-Students will begin to explore real-life decision-making in a game environment.
Overview: The focus of this lesson is to promote decision-making in special education high school students.
-In previous decision-making activities, students have been overwhelmed in real-life situations. Through a game in class, we can still activate the decision-making areas of the brain without having the added pressure of it being real-life decisions.
-This game – The Decision Making Road Map – will take place on the floor of the classroom so students can physically move from one decision to the other with their car, and write in their decisions as they make their way through the game.
Developmental Learning Activities designed to meet the objective(s):
-The class will be divided into pairs. Each pair will have their own “Road Map” laid out on the ground and Hot Wheels car for each student to drive on the map.
-As each pair of students comes to a “speed bump,” there will be a situation that they will have to make a decision about. On each side they will write a positive decision and outcome, as well as a negative decision and outcome
-As they make their way through the road map, they will be using critical thinking skills to help create different possible decisions and outcomes for each situation
-After the activity, we will talk about the activity and how it was for each student to think of different decisions they could make. We will also talk about how this is something they can do everyday when they have to make a decision about something.
-Students can keep the Hot Wheels cars, as reinforcement that they are “the drivers of their own lives.”
-If this activity is taking students a long time and they cannot get through the 9 decisions or they are getting frustrated, this game can be split up into sections, as it takes place over 3 pieces of paper. The game can be done in 3 sections to continue reinforcement of decision making in more than one lesson.
Closing and Follow up:
Each of the Road Maps will be hung in the class as a reminder that students can make their own decisions. It can also be an aid when a student is having a hard time making a decision to go back to the Road Map and see what they wrote down for possible decisions they could make to reinforce that they are capable of critical thinking.
-Hot Wheel cars for each student
-Decision Making Road Map
-Markers/Colored pencils for writing in decisions