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Decision Making Wheel


45 minutes

Learning Outcomes

In this activity students begin to learn a decision making strategy that will help them improve the quality of the choices they make.

Resources & Preparation Needed

Handout: Decision Making Wheel


Start the activity with an open discussion on decision-making strategies: 

  • Have you ever made a choice that resulted in a consequence that you did not want? (Invite the students to share thoughts in pairs)
  • How do we decide whether we should do something or not? 
  • How do you make a choice or a decision? 

If we want to improve our consequences, we have to improve our decision-making strategies. The decisions can be made using the decision making wheel (a printable tool).

When you have an important decision to make, start by stating the problem in the hub of the wheel. 

Next: move through the 9 choices, one by one. When you have a decision to make, fill in the blanks.

Hand out the Activity Sheet: “Decision Making Wheels” to each student. Following the steps on the wheel, teach the students the process of clarifying the problem, then moving through the steps of thinking to come to a decision.

Read the following scenario (or whatever scenario is suitable):

It is recess. Everyone is out on the playing fields, including the teacher. You have to go to the toilet. On the way to the toilet, you pass your class and notice that there is someone in the room. You stop and peek in out of curiosity. Just as you do, you see one of your best friends reach into another person’s desk and take something out of it. You quickly move past the door before you are seen. Just before the lunch bell rings, the students whose desk you saw your friend reach into, walks up to the teacher. A moment later the teacher announces that this student’s entire pencil case with pencils, pens and lunch money in it has been stolen. What do you do?

Using the Decision Wheel as a guide, discuss the following questions with your students and write their answers on the board.

Ask the students to use one of their Decision Wheels to record the answers to each question.

  1. What is the problem?
  2. What are the choices you have?
  3. What do you think the consequences of these choices will be for yourself and others who are involved?
  4. What values do you need to consider?
  5. How do you feel about the situation?
  6. Is there anything else you need to learn about it?
  7. Do you need to ask for help? Who will you ask?
  8. What is your decision?
  9. Do you think you made the right decision? Why?

Announce that you are now going to read a second scenario. The students will use their second wheel to analyse this story on their own.

You are alone with your best friend at your best friend’s house. He/she goes to a drawer in his/her wardrobe and pulls out a pack of cigarettes. He/she lights up and invites you to do the same. What do you do?

Note: If it is an activity done as a whole class you might have a variety of opinions and potential clashes. Also, you will usually get certain people participating and getting the most out of the activity and others staying quiet.

Ideas For Reflection

How did the wheel help you to reach a decision?

Usually when you make a decision, do you think of all these aspects?

What will you do differently next time you make a decision?

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