Spatial Requirements: Classroom with moderate space required
Activity Type: Movement/group
Time: 10 minutes

Introduction: The word “persnickety” is a fun word to say, and this activity is a fun way of looking at how we make choices. It might be a good introduction to explain to students that persnickety means being careful about our choices because we want only the best and the finest. This activity is designed to help students see that our choices – whether narrow or broad – affect our futures, and should therefore be deliberate and thought-out. This activity also ties in to the “Reality Ride.” 


  • 1 piece of paper per student, 1 pen or pencil per student, and whiteboard. Make sure you have an empty space on 4 corners of your room for movement on their choice.

Activity: Have students gather to the middle of the room. Explain that you are going to give them four choices, and they are to choose one of them. If possible, label each corner/area with a number. Then read the first question in Choice List 1 and have them go to the corner that corresponds with their answer.  Ask a few students to share why they made the choice they did, and continue this for all the questions in Choice List 1. For Choice List 2, have students sit at their desks or tables and hand out papers and pencils.  This time, when students are given a choice, they are to write the number response on their paper. Have a few students explain their choices. Finally, give students Choice List 3, and have students write down their responses to these open-ended questions.  Then go over each choice and have as many students as possible share what they wrote and why.

Choice List 1:

  1. If you were a cookie what kind would you be? A. Chocolate chip; B. Peanut butter; C. Oatmeal; D. Sugar
  2. If you were an animal, what would you be? A. Dog; B. Cat; C. Frog; D. Porcupine
  3. If you were an entertainer, what kind would you be? A. Singer; B. Dancer; C. Actor; D. Musician
  4. If you were a store, what kind would you be? A. Grocery; B. Clothing; C.Toy; D. Furniture

Choice List 2:

  1. If you were a type of candy, what would you be? A. Chocolate bar; B. Sucker; C. Bubble gum; D. Licorice
  2. If you were a bird, what kind would you be? A. Eagle; B. Penguin; C. Hummingbird; D. Flamingo
  3. If you were stranded on a desert island with one person, who would you choose? A. Your best friend; B. Your Mom; C. Your teacher; D. Bill Nye
  4. If you could go on a vacation, where would you choose to go? A. Disneyland; B. A beach house; C. Camping; D. New York City

Choice List 3:

  1. If you were a drink, what kind would you be?
  2. If you could meet a famous person from history, whom would you choose?
  3. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  4. If you were a piece of furniture, what would you be?

Processing the Experience:

  • Which choices were easiest? Why?
  • Which choices were hardest? Why?
  • Did other people’s choices influence your choices at all in the first round? 
  • If your choices in the first two rounds hadn’t been limited, would you have made different choices?
  • Which choices did you think about the most before making them? Why?
  • In real life, do you have choices with limited options? What are they?
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