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Avoiding The Trap

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TOPIC: Choices & Consequences

CONCEPT: Students in upper elementary grades are often unaware of the consequences of their choices. This lack of awareness can result in self-defeating, destructive and dangerous behaviors. Awareness of choices and consequences is a protective factor that offsets risks in children's lives.

OBJECTIVE: Students name situations that could "entrap" them in a "web of consequences" and brainstorm ways to avoid poor choices, make better ones and help each other to make safe, healthy and responsible choices and decisions.

GRADE LEVEL: 3rd - 5th

Method: Small group activity
Time Frame: 15 minutes plus "Post Test" and "Discussion"
Material: "Spider Web" - one for each pair of students

ACTIVITY: Print out spider web. Engage the students in a discussion about how spider webs work and why insects don't see the webs until they are caught in them. Webs are not easy to see unless you are looking for them. To be safe, insects must be aware and watch out for webs. Unwise choices can trap us in situations that are like spider webs. Sometimes they are not easy to see. To be safe, we must be aware and watch out for situations that are like webs that can trap us. Explain that once in the web or situation, the insect must face the consequences, and once in a negative situation, people must face consequences too. Form pairs. Using the handout, instruct pairs of students to decide on and write a sentence describing a situation that could "entrap them in a situation that could cause them trouble or endanger them." Ask each pair to read their situation aloud to the class. Engage the class in brainstorming how to be aware of and avoid the situation. Ask them to name alternative choices and how friends can help friends avoid "the trap."

POST-TEST: After the activity, ask the class:

  • How is making an unwise choice like being trapped in a spider web?

  • What is one way we can avoid being trapped in a negative situation?

  • How can we help our friends avoid trouble or dangerous situations?

  • Does a friend encourage a friend to make choices that could be dangerous?

DISCUSSION: After the "Post-Test", discuss the role of friendship and when it is appropriate and necessary to ask a trusted adult for help on behalf of a friend headed for a "trap." Post the spider webs.

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