Helping Students Develop Thoughtful Opinions and Make Good Decisions

This approach is useful in developing thoughtful opinions and making good decisions. In this approach, learners must weigh options and their outcomes. This approach utilizes visual and tactile strengths in demonstrating opposing ideas and views and their decisions based on the results.

To do this approach, you will need a two-sided balance scale and some chips, pennies, or other small tokens. If one is not available, you can make one with a soda can as the fulcrum and yardstick as the balance. Discussion can follow to demonstrate the “winning” side.


1.  Label each side of the scale corresponding to the two ideas being compared. For instance, if studying government, one side might represent democracy and the other side communism.

2.  Give each learner a chip, penny, or another small token. All learners must have the same type of token.

3.  After discussing the tenets of the idea, direct the learner to place their token on the side of the balance scale that represents their opinion. For instance, if a

learner believes in a tenet of communism, she can place her token on that side of the scale. As learners place their tokens, they must give a reason for their opinion.

4.  When each student has had a turn, ask the learners to observe the balance of opinions.

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