Character Counts Digital Classroom

Making the Right Decision

Making the right decision is not always an easy task, especially for young students. Understanding our own values helps identify the right thing to do to be a good friend and community member.

Making Good Decisions
Grade Level: K-5


Character Skills
  • Responsibility
  • Good Citizenship
SEL Skills
  • Self-Awareness
  • Responsible Decision-Making
Academic Skills
  • Curiosity and Passion
  • Self-Direction and Engagement


  • Do what you are supposed to do. Try your best.
  • Persevere. Keep on trying.
  • Be self-disciplined.
  • Think before you act. Consider the consequences.
  • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes.
  • Do your share to make your home, school, and community better.
  • Cooperate.
  • Stay informed. Vote.
  • Be a good neighbor.
  • Make choices that protect the safety and rights of others.
  • Protect the environment.

Identify and understand emotions, values, attitudes, motivations, mindsets, and personal attributes.

Responsible Decision-Making

Make decisions based on rationality, ethics, and effectiveness.

Curiosity and Passion

Enthusiastic to understand more about themselves, others, and the world around them.

Self-Direction and Engagement

Fully engaged in the educational process and connected to the school community.

Share This Activity

Sometimes the decision-making process is quick and we don’t always have time to make a long, drawn-out decision. Quickly checking your decisions based on how they align with your beliefs is a helpful tool. Take a quick second to think “Is this helping create the kind of world where I want to live?” This will help guide your decision-making when it matters the most. 

  • Watch “Making Tough Choices with Kid President
  • As a large group, use the following discussion prompts.
    • What are impulsive choices?
    • What happens when you don’t do anything when a decision needs to be made?
    • How does following what others do change how you make decisions?
    • What does it mean to be someone others want to follow?
  • Kid President shares a way to check your decisions against your beliefs. Instruct the students to get with a partner (this can also be done in a small group led by an instructor). Ask them to talk with their partner about the following questions.
    • What do I care about in my family, school, and community?
    • What other things are important to me?
    • How do I want others to treat me and my friends/family?
    • How do people act in the kind of world where I want to live?
  • Now read the students the following scenario.
    • You are doing a graded assessment in class when you notice your friend peaking over at your paper. You know that your friend has had a hard time understanding the subject and you have been helping her study. You want her to do well, but she is cheating off of your paper. What do you do?
  • Ask the students to discuss the following questions about the scenario with their partner.
    • What would happen if you told the teacher your friend was cheating? What would happen if you did not? Which decision is easier?
    • Which choice would help make the world more like the one where you want to live?
    • What would your choice be? Why?
    • Ask students to share how they made their decision.

Student Reflection

Have students journal about the following prompts.

  • What decisions are the most challenging to make?
  • How do the things we care about help us make good decisions?
  • How do my decisions impact my community?
  • How can I act this week to make the world a better place?
Family Connection

Encourage families to watch “Making Tough Choices with Kid President

Give the following prompts to discuss as a family.

  • What are the values in our home?
  • What type of world does our family want to live in? 
  • What happens when our decisions help build that world? What happens when they do not?
  • How can our family make sure our decisions and values match?

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