Goal: To improve classroom skills
1. The student will determine when it is appropriate to take risks.
2. The student will successfully take risks.
3. The student will evaluate the effectiveness of the risk taking
1. Realize possible outcomes (actions vs. inaction).
2. Ask, "What do I want for myself?"
3. Seek an outside opinion if appropriate.
4. Keep reminding self of goal (self talk).
5. Set course of action and do it.
6. Ask "Was the risk worth taking?"
Definition: Taking risks is being willing to try something challenging, something you've never tried before, or something which you may have failed at previously.
Rationale: Share with students the "poker-chip theory of risk-taking"...The more risks you take, the easier taking risks becomes, the more success you experience, the more you get out of life. Theory: the person who has the most poker chips built up in a card game is the player who will take the most risks and more likely win the game.
Discuss how taking risks is related to an individual's self-esteem. Those who have the highest level of self-esteem take the most risks, and taking more risks builds self-esteem.
Discuss safety factors and stress need for not taking risks which could result in physical danger (diving off cliffs, using machinery, etc.).
Discussion: How many of you have ever taken any risks? What are risks? Who takes risks? Are risks good/bad/both? Let students share their experiences of risk taking.
Discussion ideas: Students generate examples of why, when and how to take risks. Students discuss the possible end results of taking risks and how those results may feel. Make a poster of the why, when, and how to take risks. Add to the poster as more discussion and ideas are presented.
Model/Role-Play with Feedback
You ask to borrow something from a friend.
You try out for a club, team, cheerleading squad, chorus, school play, band, etc.
You write a essay for a contest.
You cross the street independently.
You walk to school or to the bus stop independently.
You tell someone how you feel about something.
You place a bet.
You ask someone out on a date.
You ask your parents to extend your curfew, increase your allowance, have a party, etc.
You sell something for a school fund raiser.
You ask another classmate if you can play with the toy they are playing with.
You ask others to play a game with you at recess.
Students determine a goal they haven't reached because they were too scared to take the risk. Students practice the process steps and report on their progress after they have practiced independently taking the risk.
Set up a contest and have students enter by completing a challenging assignment.
Set up a party or dance where students have to bring a date.
Set up a challenging obstacle course for students where everyone who successfully completes it, wins a prize.
Make a bet with a student or students.
Have students run for class officers, room leaders, room helpers, etc.
Have students chart their progress on independent risk-taking through the school year.
Have students play on a new piece of playground equipment or learn a gymnastics stunt.
Application With Feedback
Set up a situation in another class where students must take a risk. Inform that teacher of the process steps and ask that teacher to rate the students.
Student is assigned situations or classes where he must perform the skill. The supervising adult completes a feedback form which the student returns to his teacher, or the adult gives the student verbal feedback.
Teacher gives unexpected situations which involve taking a risk throughout the school year. Suggested situations: Coach has a student or students go out for a team, teacher has students audition for a reading in front of the class.
Ask parents how students could take risks at home. Ask parents to set up those situations. Inform them of the process steps and ask them to rate their children and send the rating information to school.
Student independently uses skill and reports the result back to the teacher. Student is given points for reporting the use of the skill.
Social Skills Curriculum Guide, 1992
Special School District of St. Louis County