Story of Choices
Welcome to the Story of Choices website. The Story of Choices package features education methods aimed at 6th graders with regard to emotional skills, safety skills and intoxicants.
The lesson involves discussing alcohol, snus, choices, emotions and recognising one’s own emotions and those of others. The pupils also get to practice safety skills related to their personal limits, in particular.
The sections on emotional and safety skills were prepared in an age-appropriate manner according to the phases of sexuality specified by the Family Federation of Finland. Online bullying can also be covered during the Story of Choices lesson and follow-ups.
The effectiveness of the Story of Choices lesson is based on interactive methods and repetition.
In class before the Story of Choices lesson, the teacher steers the pupils towards the relevant topics by means of the Hukkaputki interactive story game. The instructors of the Story of Choices lesson are professionals who work with children and young people or students in the field who have been introduced to the method.
After the class visit, the teacher arranges a follow-up on the themes of the Story of Choices lesson. The aim of the Story of Choices methodology is to make the pupils think for themselves and challenge them towards new insights.
The method has been prepared in cooperation with the youth services of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, preventive substance abuse services, and the Family Federation of Finland.
The Story of Choices methodology consists of three areas:
The content and emphases of the Story of Choices can be adapted to fit the basic curriculum. Teachers have the opportunity to match the entire content to the needs of the class.
The teacher can impact the content
- The teacher can decide beforehand whether they want to emphasise any of the Story of Choices themes to the class.
- In the context of playing the Hukkaputki game, the teacher can add questions related to the topic selected in advance.
- The teacher can indicate any desired emphases to the Story of Choices contact person before the class visit. This is taken into account in the Story of Choices lesson.
- The teacher chooses the exercise for the follow-up session.
In-class intro before the Story of Choices lesson (duration 30–45 min)
A few days before the Story of Choices lesson or on the same day, the teacher is to instruct the pupils to play Nuortenlinkki’s Hukkaputki game, which involves making a variety of choices. It is a good idea to secure computers or tablets for the pupils for this purpose. The game can also be played on a smartphone. If a device for playing the game cannot be provided to all pupils, the game can also be played in pairs. The link to the Hukkaputki game also provides game instructions for the teacher. The teacher must divide the class into two or three groups with 7–10 pupils each.
Intro instructions: www.nuortenlinkki.fi/peli
The teacher may send a letter to the parents before the Story of Choices lesson, but this is not required.
Story of Choices lesson (duration 60 min)
The teacher must bring the pupils to the Story of Choices lesson about 5 minutes before the normal start time of the class. The lessons are often arranged at the local youth centre. The lesson involves watching a video to spark discussion.
The Story of Choices lesson is instructed by professionals who work with children and young people (e.g. youth workers, school social workers and school psychologists) and students who have been introduced to the method.
Follow-up processing in class (duration 35–45 min)
After the Story of Choices lesson, preferably within a week, the teacher must arrange a follow-up session for the pupils. The teacher can decide on the content but the follow-up must always include the following:
- feedback through Webropol
- discussion about the Story of Choices lesson with the students
- at least one optional exercise
There are three optional exercises available for practising emotional skills. The pupils must complete at least one exercise, but they can also complete all of them.
- Emotional indicator: recognising one’s own emotions and their strength
- Emotion word game: naming and identifying emotions
- Emotion and body survey: identifying the body’s emotion-related signals
See the exercise materials
The ‘Hullunkuriset kohtaamiset’ game
The game is played in the same way as the game ‘Hullunkurisia kysymyksiä ja vastauksia.’ The game is intended for grade levels 5–7 to support discussion about personal limits and sexual autonomy. The game encourages young people to consider an individual’s rights to personal limits.
The adult guiding the game can steer the young people towards considering how to uphold personal limits and respect those of others.
Smoke free quiz:
Consider which claims regarding tobacco products are true and which are false. If you would like to expand the exercise, you can organise the Smoke free activity course.
For broader discussion about intoxicants, you can arrange a Juteltaisko? lesson.
Discussion about online bullying
It is extremely important for children to learn to identify online bullying, have the courage and capacity to intervene, and know how to use the internet safely.