What Would You Do? Taking Responsibility

When presented with a problem or situation, we typically have multiple ways that we can choose how to respond. Once we take time to analyze the situation (reference to guiding questions in week 1 lesson), we must choose to make a choice. Sometimes the choice is easy, given the size of the problem. Other times, it can be challenging to know how best to respond. In order to respond in a way that supports you and others around you, it is important to demonstrate responsibility. Responsibility means owning your actions and their impact (or you may use another definition that is fitting for your students).

Elementary Lesson

Pose the examples below to students in whole group. Next, engage students in brainstorming possible solutions. Finally, ask students to make a choice. Once they have made their choice, have students engage in a peer dialogue explaining their reasoning behind their choice and what “taking responsibility” would look and sound like.

  1. You forgot to do your homework last night.
  2. It is cold outside and you can’t find your jacket for school.
  3. Someone on the playground is being mean to another student.
  4. You witness someone steal an item from your classroom that doesn’t belong to them.

Secondary Lesson

After watching the video, have students discuss what choice they would make if they were Amanda. With the choice, students will explain their reasoning and how the action demonstrates “taking responsibility.” Continue the activity by posing more problems to students (examples below). Have students find a different peer with each example to discuss possible solutions, defend the choice they would make, and how their choice is “taking responsibility.”

  1. Your best friend posts something on social media about one of your other friends that isn’t true.
  2. You lie about why you were late for school and now feel guilty about it.
  3. Your brother is sick and your mom is working. Do you take care of your brother or take time to study for your test that is tomorrow?

Follow-Up Activity

Doing what is right, even when it is hard - Students can write independently about a time that they were asked to do something that was hard for them, but in the end was the right choice to make.

Teacher Tips

It is important that students have space to share their thinking behind the choice that they would make, even if it doesn’t initially feel responsible. Remind students that there are many ways to make a choice and all choices will be respected here, even if you don’t agree with someone.