Family Resources on Making Choices

Lesson Topic

Students will practice prioritizing to make decisions about how they will choose to spend their time.

Essential Question

How can I prioritize and make decisions about how I will spend my time?

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Making Choices – Katie

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students analyzed the often-difficult issue of making choices. In class students discussed considering the consequences and outcomes of the choices that they make currently, including the issue that sometimes people have to make choices between more than one good or enjoyable experience. In groups students developed a process that they could use to help them prioritize and make choices.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The video for this module features a youth named Katie who as a teenager began her career as a musician. Katie discusses how she loves performing but also how her touring schedule means that she misses out on many other social experiences that her friends take for granted. Katie also discusses that even though she knows she is missing out on these experiences she believes in her choices

Conversation notes:
The opportunity to make important decisions is a new experience for most high-school aged students. Up to this point in their lives, others have made most of the important decisions for them. While making choices is powerful, it is also stressful. Parents and mentors can use Katie’s experience as a good entry into a discussion about decision making because many people would think that being a touring musician would be exciting, but as Katie explains there are downfalls. Katie is now an adult and is an executive with a major record label.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published this short article about decision making:

A more in-depth (but easy to read) article from Medium:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first two items are for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class

Describe the decision-making process your group developed. Do you think your group’s plan is a good one? Why or why not?

Some people would choose the lifestyle of a musician like Katie. What would be some of the positive things? What would be given up? Would it be worth it? Why or why not?

What was a difficult or stressful choice you had to make on your own in the last few weeks? Why was this a difficult or stressful choice? Were the outcomes of your choice positive? Would you make a different choice knowing what you know now? Why or why not?

What important choices will you need to make in the near future? Are any of these stressful or concerning? Why or why not? What support do you think you will need as you make these choices? How will you seek this support?

School to Home Resources on Making Choices

Lesson Plan

Importance of making choices

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Katie says, “I would give up anything to play music, so if it means missing a prom or missing a dance…then I’ll miss that and I’ll go play my music”. While many teens would think this would be an easy decision to make, most people believe their decisions are more mundane. When faced with decisions of how to prioritize, what do you think about first? What people in life do you need to consider when prioritizing your personal activities?

Being patient is difficult

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Katie mentions that she has to remind herself to be patient, “I know that you just have to wait for it, that’s what I hate doing”. What do you tell yourself when you know you need to be patient? Why is important to be able to wait on your goals or dreams?.

Decision making

Take a look at this article about the rapper and internet star Backpack Kid, Russell Horning. Like Katie, he began performing and touring as a teenager. Notice from this press release how he has used his celebrity status to help a variety of causes. Why do you think it is important to help these initiatives? If you could, what criteria would you suggest he use to determine which organization to support and why?

Still just a friend to me

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Katie’s friend Jeanette says, “I know in a way she’s a celebrity, but I don’t really think of it like that [be]cause I’m not out on the road with her, I don’t see her when she’s on her shows”. How would you react to a friend who became famous? Why do you think that Jeanette does not really think about Katie being famous? As we become older, many of our friendships will change because jobs will it harder to stay in touch. What are some strategies you could use to maintain friendships once your friends leave high school?

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