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Decision-making and Problem-solving: Class Activity

  • Alcohol and Cannabis Module
  • Climate Schools logo
Year: Year 7–8, Year 9–10
Targeted Drugs:


Climate Schools was developed by researchers currently based at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney, Australia, formerly based at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), School of Psychiatry, and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use at UNSW Sydney. See Climate Schools.


Class activity with time for individual work.



The aim of this activity is to teach students the steps involved in effective decision-making/problem-solving. This skill is a useful skill for students to learn, as it will assist students to consider all the options that are available to them and the related consequences of each option when they are making a decision or solving a potential problem. Decision making/problem solving can be one skill used to help students to make an informed decision if they are considering either initiating or ceasing drug use.

Part 1:

Give the class a quick overview of the steps involved in the decision-making/problem-solving process.

The steps involved in decision-making/problem-solving:

  1. Define the problem or the decision to be made.
  2. Consider all the possible options/alternatives to solve the problem or decision.
  3. Write down all the positives and negatives for each option/alternative.
  4. Weight all the positives and negatives for each option.
  5. Select the best alternative.
  6. Implement the solution.
  7. Monitor progress.
  8. Review and learn from your experience.

Part 2:

The easiest way to introduce this process to students is by example. Ask students to think of something they want to change or make a decision about. Hand out the individual worksheets for students to complete.


  • Students learn a structured process to assist with decision-making and problem solving.

Evidence Base

Secondary teachers reviewed this and other Climate School activities, with 92.3% rating these activities as good or very good. This particular activity was among the most popular activities selected for implementation by teachers.

The benefits of implementing individual activities from the Climate schools has not been examined. The benefits of implementing the entire 6 session Climate schools program has been supported by multiple research studies, see Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis Module.

Page last reviewed: 8 May 2019.