Making Good Choices: Keys to Good Decisions
This item is included in the following series/curriculum: Curriculum in a Box: Succeeding in Middle School
Running Time: 18 minutes
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Kids today have a lot of important decisions to make. Should I drink alcohol or smoke pot? Should I cheat on a test? Should I inform on a friend? This program introduces students to the four hallmarks of good decision-making: does it agree with what I know inside is right, what might happen as a result, might it hurt future goals, and will it hurt me or another person. Through real-life scenarios viewers see middle school students in the throes of difficult decisions with serious consequences. Applying these new decision-making strategies empowers students to choose the right path. Strategies include talking with a trusted friend, listening to your inner voice, asking yourself what your parents would say, what might happen as a result, what are the consequences. Program encourages students to refrain from acting on impulse but to use their head and heart when working through decisions. By applying the four hallmarks and incorporating strategies learned, students build strong, moral decision-making abilities.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Recommended Dealing with young adults and the choices they have to make on their own, this short works well to show what is happening in their world and what they should do.
Dramatizations are interspersed with two hip young hosts offering guidance. The hosts are well-cast and believable, and don’t seem phony (though I didn’t screen it to anyone in the target audience). In comparison, the actors used in the dramatizations seemed a little less comfortable with their roles, but were still good. Showing examples of both negative and positive peer pressure as well as giving tips on safe and sensible decision-making, the film uses the scenarios to educate teen viewers on how to avoid bad choices like smoking pot, riding with a drunk driver, skipping school, and first physical meetings with friends from on-line chat rooms.
The cameras are often in motion: the studio camera sweeps to the hosts on a boom and the dramatizations utilize a shaky (not overdone) handheld camera and occasional zoom shot to simulate a hidden camera capturing real life. The graphics (all text) were clean, effective, and used sparingly, though sometimes were a bit too quick to leave the screen.
Recommended for high school (and possibly middle school) collections to help empower children so they do the right thing when confronted with difficult decisions about their lives, which could have serious impact on their futures.
- Christopher Dunham, formerly of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)