Lesson 3: Anticipate Outcomes and Consequences

Individual pointing to a chart

Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Purpose of lesson: To anticipate possible outcomes and consequences of feasible solutions to a problem.

Materials needed: Internet access


“Today we will discuss intentional and unintentional outcomes and consequences of different solutions to a problem. This process will help you choose which solution to pursue for a given problem.”

Discussion: Anticipating Consequences

“Suppose Larry was invited on a four-week summer road trip with his best friends. Larry works at a golf course retail shop, and his boss, Mr. Ian, did not approve Larry’s month-long leave of absence. Unfortunately for Larry, he decides to quit his part-time job and enjoy the road trip or skip the trip and remain employed.”

This is not an easy problem because remaining employed and investing in friendships have value.

Put yourself in Larry’s situation. Assume you choose to remain employed. Anticipate potential consequences. (You would miss an adventure, bonding with friends, seeing new places, and experiencing diversity. You won’t be able to add much to conversations about the trip when your friends are home. However, you would remain employed, maintain an employment reference, and maintain a network relationship.)

Now assume you choose to quit your job and enjoy the road trip. What are the potential consequences? (You would forfeit a job, lose income, and lose Mr. Ian as a work-related reference for future employment. You may also feel guilty and damage relationships in your personal network. However, you would likely deepen bonds of friendship and enjoy the adventure.)

Anticipating the consequences of each possible solution allows you to make a well-thought-through, wise decision.

Exercise: Exploring Solutions and Anticipating Consequences

“We’re going to role-play a situation. Assume you are getting bullied at school and uncertain of the best method for handling bullying. Use resources (Internet, etc.) to explore possible solutions. After at least three solutions are devised, anticipate the consequences (positive and negative) for each solution.”

  • Which outcome do you want?
  • Therefore, which solution should you choose?

Exercise: Fundraising Project

The students should anticipate the positive and negative aspects of each fundraising solution. For example, if it’s winter, a car wash may put the group in weather that will be difficult to tolerate for very long. If selling candy at school is a solution, are the students authorized to sell it on school grounds? Which fundraiser would likely raise the most funds?


“Today we highlighted the importance of anticipating consequences and the result for each potential solution to a problem.”

Progress notes, data collection, comments, and modifications: