Stop and Think

Making impulsive choices without pausing to stop and think about the consequences can have ramifications in a child’s social life. Students who are constantly yelling out in class, pushing or yelling at friends when they get angry, or constantly breaking the rules may have trouble keeping friends.

Choices don’t just have negative consequences either. A choice could end up having a positive consequence, too. But it’s important to stop and think about choices, big or small, before we make them.

As adults, most of us are pretty good at running through pros and cons.

Sure, we all make impulsive choices every now and then – king size Reese’s in the checkout line anyone?

But other choices take a little more reflection. Should I go to the gym this morning? If I don’t go, I’d get to sleep in an extra 45 minutes, but I would miss my workout and regret it.

Which house should I buy? If I buy this house, I’ll be farther from work, but it has a bigger backyard. If I buy that house, I’ll be closer to work, but there’s no hardwood floors and the kitchen needs updating.

We’ve had a long time to practice the advice to “stop and think,” but our students are brand new to the concept.

stop and think

In this stop and think worksheet, students will cut out choice cards that have examples of choices that could have either positive or negative consequences. Examples of these choices include: 

  • A classmate dares you to trip another student. What would happen if you do it?
  • The teacher has a bowl of candy on her desk, and she leaves the room for a minute. What would happen if you took some?
  • You go to a sleepover at your friend’s house, and you feel like you want to go home in the middle of the night. What would happen if you asked to go home?
  • You and a friend walk into the cafeteria together, and there is only one seat left at the table where you want to sit. What would happen if you choose to sit there?

The PDF also includes a blank page of choice cards so educators can add custom choices to this activity.

After reading a choice card, students should think about whether the consequence of that choice would be positive or negative. They will then glue (or just place) that choice card in the corresponding POSITIVE or NEGATIVE box.

FYI, this activity would be great to laminate (or use the plastic page protector trick) so that you don’t need to make a bunch of copies of the first page.

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