Alternate Activity 5: Making Decisions
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Handout 3, Decisions, Decisions
- Optional: Clipboards
Preparation for Activity
- Copy Handout 3 for all participants.
Description of Activity
Ask the group whether they think that a decision we make today can control what happens tomorrow. If the group says yes, as it probably will, does that mean that we should worry about every decision we make? Or are some decisions really unimportant?
Distribute copies of Handout 3 and pencils or pens (and clipboards, if you have them). Read the instructions with the group. Give youth time to follow the instructions. Then ask participants to share their responses to each question. Process the disagreements. You may find the phrase "it all depends" keeps coming up: "What seems an unimportant decision might be important in some situations. It all depends." Remind the group of the butterfly effect. Some things that seem unimportant today can have a large effect on tomorrow.
Ask if youth have ever learned decision-making skills in school. Do they think such skills are needed? What do they do when they face tough decisions?
Invite the group to think about the weather. What is the best way to find out what tomorrow's weather will be? Listen to the radio or television? Call the weather bureau? Send an email to a fortuneteller who your friend says is always right?
Talk about chance. Have participants ever made decisions by flipping a coin? What other ways do they know of deciding things by chance? Why do people sometimes do that? (Sometimes because it seems easy. Also, if two people disagree about a decision and they toss a coin, no one person is responsible for the decision.)
Ask participants how superstition fits into their decision-making. If they predict something good will happen, do they then knock on wood to avoid having it go wrong? Cross their fingers? What else? Do they really think it works?
Ask, "How do you know when a decision you have to make is really important? Are some decisions truly more important than others?"
Including All Participants
If some members of your group have limited reading skills, consider reading the handout aloud before asking the youth to respond to it.