Trick or Treat: How to Teach Giving and Making Choices

Trick or Treat
How to Teach Giving and Making Choices

Susan Verner
by Susan Verner 22,181 views

People make choices every day. We choose what to wear, what to eat, what to do with our time. We choose where to go and who to talk to. When you want to offer your students some choices of their own, you can use the following role-playing activities.

Which one will they like best? Try them all and then choose.

Trick Or Treat: How to Teach Giving and Making Choices

  1. 1

    Menu Choices

    If you are doing a unit on food, a restaurant role-play is a great way to practice choices with your students. Have your students use the vocabulary you are learning to write a menu. They can use an online menu as a model as they write their own. Tell your class to make sure each menu item offers a choice. They may give a choice of salad dressing, a choice of bread, or a choice of side dishes, for example. Then have two students work together to role play – one as the waiter taking the order and one as the patron placing an order. The patron should select a menu option, and then the waiter should offer the choice that comes with that item. After the order is complete, switch roles and play again. To make the activity more challenging and to expand your students’ vocabularies at the same time, bring in a collection of take out menus from restaurants in your area and have them use those menus for the role-play.

  2. 2

    Take a Taste Test

    With Halloween coming closer every day, why not share the love and the chocolate with your class by orchestrating a taste test with mini candy bars? Of course if anyone in your class has food allergies, this is not the activity for you, but if not the change of pace and the shot of sugar are a good way to change things up for the end of October. To run a taste test, divide your class into two groups. Have each group of students prepare small squares of two different types of candy bars. (The bite size samples are a good size to use for this activity.) Students should unwrap the candy bars so the tasters do not know what type they are tasting and label one A and another B in a small cup or on a plate or napkin. Then each group of students should have the other half of the class try both types of candy. Have the testers ask which type of candy the taster prefers. The taster should give his or her answer and say why he prefers one to the other, and the testers should record the answers. Then switch roles. Once everyone from both groups has had a chance to taste test some sweets, have the groups of students tally up which of the candies was preferred by their class overall. You may also want to have each group write a short report on which candy was more popular and why.

  3. 3

    Healthy Choices

    Anyone who has studied nutrition knows that the choices you make on a daily basis can contribute to your good health or your poor health. Spend some time discussing with your students how important it is to make healthy choices. Then take some time to brainstorm as a class what some healthy choices might be. Make sure your list includes things like eating fruits and vegetables, getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep and taking time to relax from work. Then brainstorm a list of unhealthy choices. With partners in class, have students role play a situation where one person offers a choice and the other person gives his preference. You may want to have speakers play the role of peers, parents, doctors or teachers. The speaker may offer a choice between one item on the healthy list and one item on the unhealthy list, or he may choose two items from either of the same lists. The second student should then make a choice between the two options. Students can then switch roles. You can also encourage your students to offer choices that do not appear on the list to see what their classmates would choose. Then ask your class if the answers changed when they were talking to different people (doctor, parent, peer). Why do they think that was the case?

  4. 4

    Three Choices

    We often hear of stories in which a genie offers three wishes to the person who rubs his lamp. If your students were given three wishes, what would they choose to wish for? Start this activity by playing a clip from Disney’s Aladdin in which the genie explains the three-wish policy to Aladdin, and then pose this question to your class: if you were given three wishes, what would you wish for? Allow students to think about their answers and then have pairs of students role-play the genie and the one who rubbed his lamp. Encourage your students to think of wishes they might make for themselves, wishes they would make for the people that they love, and wishes they would make for the world as a whole. After giving ample time for the role-plays, ask each student to share with the class one of the wishes he or she would choose.

  5. 5

    Let’s Make a Deal

    If you and your students have had your fill of serious discussions, why not bring a little levity to class by watching excerpts from Let’s Make a Deal? In this game show, contestants are often offered a choice of prizes, but those prizes are hidden behind doors, behind curtains or in boxes. After watching enough of the program to understand the concept, have your students create their own “Let’s Make a Deal” game show. In groups, have students think of prizes that a contestant might win and the tasks he or she may have to do to win them. Then let your class role play the host of the show and contestants and see who wins big for the day.

Everyone makes choices every day.

These choices may be what type of candy bar to eat or they might be which prize curtain to take a chance on. Whether your class is choosing little things or big ones, role-playing may be the activity to choose for practice.

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