This week’s printable will help students think ahead to the positive and negative consequences of their choices.

We often think of consequences in terms of bad things that could happen. If I go to bed early, I’ll miss this TV show and see spoilers on twitter tomorrow. If I stay up too late, I’ll be tired and cranky in the morning.

After my first two years teaching and living with roommates, I decided to live on my own. I suddenly had higher rent, higher utilities, and the same teacher’s salary. I HAD to start following a serious budget.

Sticking to the budget was hard at first because I thought of it as restrictive, or a negative consequence. All these numbers on the spreadsheet were telling me all the things I couldn’t do.

It was only when I changed my perspective that I actually started to enjoy the process. My budget gave me permission to spend without any guilt. It told me what I could do.

We can teach kids to frame consequences in the same way. Each choice they make has both potential positive and negative consequences.

For example, if I go to bed early and miss my TV show, I’ll wake up rested and avoid twitter all day, making me more productive!

This activity gives students a challenging situation and multiple choices of how to react. Students will choose one and list the possible positive and negative consequences of their answer. Based on the consequences, they’ll need to decide if that was the best choice.

Download the activity here.

positive and negative consequences