Grades PreK - 1st
Recognize Healthy Vs. Unhealthy Choices
How are you feeling right now?
Question Before you Begin
How do we make a decision?
Today we are going to be learning about Decision Making. What is a decision?
A decision is another word for a choice. Today we are going to learn about how to make a decision or choice. We are also going to talk about the words healthy and unhealthy. Do you know what healthy means?
Healthy is another word for good. A healthy choice might be choosing to eat healthy food or sharing your toys with your brother or sister. What does the word unhealthy mean?
Another word for unhealthy might be bad. What could be an unhealthy choice we make?
An unhealthy choice might be to eat only junk food or yell when we get mad at someone.
Watch No David!
Questions while Reading
Materials needed: Bag of fresh marshmallows and a timer
ROUND 1: Give each student one marshmallow. The students have to make a decision. They can eat their marshmallow now OR wait for 30 seconds and then get two marshmallows. Students have to practice self control by keeping their body still because if they drop the marshmallow, they can not get another until the next round. Once the students have a marshmallow, start a countdown clock. During the 30 seconds, ask the students how they are feeling? Excited, Scared, Happy, Nervous-use this time to say how all of these feelings are normal and good to have, but we still have to make good decisions even when our feelings are bigger. At end of the time, praise the students for making a good decision and ask if they would like to try again.
Round 2: This time, every student starts with 2 marshmallows. If they are able to wait 1 minute without eating their marshmallows, they get 4! Review expectations-Quiet body. This time, while students are waiting for the 1 minute to pass, talk to them about some of the things that help us feel calm when we are having to make a decision. Let’s try taking some deep breaths. Role model how to take deep breaths (in through the nose and out through the mouth). Ask the students if there are any other things they can do.
Round 3: This time, every student starts with 6 marshmallows. If they are able to wait 2 minutes without eating their marshmallows, they get 6 more! Quickly review the expectations. While waiting for the 2 minutes to pass, talk about things that can help us to calm down when we are losing control (coping strategies). There are all kinds of things we can do to help us stay calm. We could sing a song. We could talk to a friend. We could try positive self talk.
Reminder at the end:
Who is the person that made the decision to hold onto the marshmallow?
Did your teacher make you hold the marshmallow? Did I make you hold the marshmallow? So, who made the decision to hold onto the marshmallow and wait? You had the power to make the healthy decision to wait. You have that power! No one can force you to make an unhealthy decision because YOU have the power to do that.
Check for Understanding
1. Lie on your back with your legs flat on the floor and your arms by your sides. If you like, you can close your eyes, Feel the back of your head touching the floor. Feel your shoulders, upper back, arms, hands, lower back, legs, and feet touching the floor.
2. Have someone lay a stuffed animal on your belly. When you breathe in, the animal gently moves up; and when you breathe out, the animal gently moves back down. Imagine that this animal loves to be rocked to sleep by the movement of your breathing,
3. Notice what it feels like to breathe in and out, moving the animal up and down. You can pat the stuffed animal on your tummy and notice what that feels like too. How does your body feel? What's happening in your mind?