I spent last Monday and Tuesday in the La Canada 7th Grade science classes, and we spent out time talking about decision making.
First, I handed out a sheet with some pointers on making good decisions. I didn’t make this stuff up myself; this wisdom goes all the way back to the Greek philosopher Aristotle (see picture).
After that, the kids broke up into groups and played a game using a sheet of scenarios. There are 12 situations for them to discuss. The kids take turns reading the scenarios, and then they reveal their answers Rock, Paper, Scissors style with the Yes, No and Maybe cards. Some of the themes and topics we covered include:
- You have a chance to cheat; what do you do?
- A friend tells you a secret; do you tell?
- You find a wallet with money and an ID; do you try to return it?
- Your friend asks you to help them shoplift; do you do it?
- You hear a rumor that your boyfriend/girlfriend is cheating on you. Do you break up with them?
- You find a vape device in your brother’s room; do you tell?
The kids really got into it, and we finished the class by talking about some of the scenarios as a group. I emphasized that our decisions shape who we are and how others see us; I want the kids to understand that having integrity and doing the right thing is a habit that needs to be ingrained just like brushing your teeth and eating healthy.
Kids this age have a good handle on what is right and what is wrong when it comes to these types of decisions. However, kids that age (and sometimes adults too) would rather come up with elaborate reasons to justify doing what’s wrong instead of just keeping it simple and doing what’s right.