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LifeSkills Handbook Activity 27

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions altogether. The handbook is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, books and posters to help you in your work.

LifeSkills Handbook Activity 27
The Three Cs in Decision-Making

Purpose of activity:

To learn skills to help make thoughtful decisions

Life Skills: Decision-making, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Problem-solving

If you work in another language you can find three words for the three Cs which also begin with a similar letter. For example, Juconi who teaches in Mexico, used the three Ds in Spanish: Desaffo, Diyuntiva and Desenlace instead of the English 3 Cs (challenges, choices and consequences).

Important points

Read through this activity carefully and work out your own decision-making example. It should be something important and relevant to the children in that group. It is best if the children can see how the example can help them with REAL decision-making.


  • Poster showing The Three Cs in Decision-Making
  • Blank pages for drawing an outline of child
  • Marker pens or crayons
  • Pencils and blank sheets of paper for the children



  1. Give each child a blank piece of paper.
  2. Show the children the Pattern to Copy and ask them to do so.
  3. Tell them that they have to join all the dots using only four straight lines.
  4. After 5 minutes or so, give them the answer.

Join-the-dots Answer

  1. Ask what we can learn from this brainteaser. (To solve a problem, you may have to go outside the most obvious answers.)
  2. Talk about how we make decisions:
    • suddenly
    • putting off the decision until something else makes the decision instead
    • not deciding at all
    • letting others make the decision
    • looking at choices and then deciding
  3. Explain that this session focuses on looking at choices and then deciding. Draw an outline of a child on a poster. Ask them what decisions this child may be facing, for example, should I join an after-school club?
  4. Point to the first C word, challenge, and explain that this is the first C.
  5. Point to the word Choices on the poster say that this is the second C. Ask children to think about the different choices that a child making this decision has. In this example:
    • Choice 1: Talk with the children who go to this club to find out more
    • Choice 2: Find another club
    • Choice 3: Carry on without going to a club
      (There should be at least three choices.)
  6. Point to the word Consequences and explain that this is the third C. Ask the children to think of good and bad consequences of each choice.

  1. Ask everyone to give other examples of challenges from their lives. Choose one and practice the three Cs.
  2. Ask everyone to agree or take a vote to find the most popular choice.
  3. Explain that in life, you have to face your own challenges and make your own decisions but you can ask for other ideas before making a decision.
  4. Summarise the three steps of three C’s to good decision-making.

Final discussion

Has anyone made a decision that did not turn out well? Would the 3 Cs steps have helped? How?

If you have time, it may be useful to finish this session with a game such as the Fishbowl game or team drawing (see the Games section at the end of this book).


Follow this activity with further sessions in which the group works together to ‘practice’ the 3 Cs decision-making process.

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