American youth will confront many tough decisions in their lives, both personal and political. This lesson provides a framework for approaching decision making that emphasizes the value of identifying pros and cons of different options and the difficulty of balancing short term and long term tradeoffs. The lesson begins by asking students to think critically about three decision choices that young people face. It then moves from the personal issues to issues related to infrastructure at the school and community level. Following the introductory activity on decision-making, there are two directions the class may take. Some teachers may want to have students carefully examine different approaches to providing better drinking water at their school. This group activity asks students to carefully examine the pros and cons of four different alternatives and to decide which is the best one.
Students should be able to do the following at the end of the lesson: