Easy Character Education Lesson Plan and Worksheets on Gambling Awareness for Grades 1st to 3rd.
- Students will understand that gambling is a normal part of life.
- Students will understand that risk can have good or bad outcomes.
- Students will know the definition of “gambling.”
- Students will know the definition of “risk.”
- Students will know the difference in harmless gambling and problem gambling.
- Students will give examples of risky behavior
- Students will identify situations of gambling in their lives.
- Students will decide if gambling situations are harmless or problems.
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Teacher Preparation (approximately 5 minutes):
The teacher will need the following:
- Introductory story
- Definitions of gamble
- Chart paper and markers or a blackboard
- Read the introductory story to the students.
- Discuss the definition of gamble. Gamble: to risk money or something else of value on the outcome of a game or something else based on chance.
- Discuss risk, harmless gambling, and problem gambling.
- Give students time to create role playing scenarios. Have students decide if the behavior is harmless or risky.
- Wrap-up by discussing the risk of each situation. Explain that increased risk can cause increased consequences.
Lesson Explanation (approximately 20 minutes):
- Read the following story to the students.
Beth and her brother Ben wanted to spend their Saturday outside playing. They each had big plans for their day. Beth wanted to play with Susan next door, because Susan had a new puppy that was just adorable. Ben wanted to play basketball in the driveway with his new basketball. He was trying to get better at foul shots before basketball season started again.
Unfortunately, Beth and Ben’s mother had other plans for them. Beth and Ben needed to clean their playroom. Throughout the week, neither of them had cleaned up their school supplies, toys, or video games. The playroom was a wreck, and it would take hours to clean up!
Their mother called them into the playroom early Saturday morning. She told them that the playroom had to be cleaned by lunchtime, or they would lose their games and toys for the upcoming week. Beth and Ben knew they had to do something.
“Hey! I have an idea!” said Beth. “There is no reason both of us should ruin our Saturday by staying inside cleaning. Let’s play Rock, Paper, Scissors for it.”
“Rock, Paper, Scissors?” Ben asked. “How will playing Rock, Paper, Scissors help us clean the playroom?”
“We will play three times. The person who wins two of the three rounds will get to go outside. The loser has to stay inside and clean up the playroom.”
“But won’t it take a lot less time if we just did it together?” Ben suggested."
“Yeah, but if we do it my way, only one of us has to suffer. The other one can go outside and do whatever they want. Come on! Give a try. You have a 50-50 chance of winning!”
Ben thought for a moment about what his older sister was saying. If he won, he would get to go outside. If he lost, he would have to do more work. Then he thought about his chances of winning. He was just as likely to win as his sister.
“Ok!” Ben finally said.
Beth began the count. “One, two, three. Paper, rock, scissors, throw!”
Beth made her hands look like paper, and Ben made his hands look like a rock.
“Paper covers rock, so I win!” Beth yelled with excitement. “Here we go for round two! One, two, three. Paper, rock, scissors, throw!”
This time Beth made her hands look like scissors, and Ben made his hands look like a rock again.
“Yay! I win this time!” Ben exclaimed. “Rock can crush scissors!”
The score was tied. Whoever won the final round would be the winner.
Beth began again, this time hesitantly. “One, two, three. Paper, rock, scissors, throw!”
Beth’s hands quickly shaped themselves into another pair of scissors. Ben’s hands looked flat like paper. Ben’s face fell as he saw that his sister’s scissors could cut his paper.
“Yes! Have fun cleaning! I’m off to see Susan!” Beth yelled as she ran out of the house.
Ben felt awful. He risked his Saturday plans to play the game. Now his plans were ruined. Because he left it to chance, he was now stuck cleaning his mess and Beth’s mess.
Explain to the students that Ben and Beth were gambling because they made a bet. They risked their time, and they left it to chance. Explain the true definition of gambling. Ask students to brainstorm other types of gambling that they know about. Create the list on chart paper or on the board for all to see. Encourage students to think of games they play. If nobody offers the lottery, explain that many adults play the lottery.
Discuss risk with the students and have them identify the risk in the story. Then look at the list of gambling instances and identify the risk for each one. Explain that the risk will be what they lose. The risk might be money or time. It is a bigger risk if more time or more money are involved. Express to the students that harmless gambling has a low risk. The risk does not hurt anyone other than themselves. The risk is not really harmful. Explain that harmless gambling is around us all the time.
Explain in very simple terms that risky gambling can lead to a serious gambling problem. Discuss with students the dangers of problem gambling. Explain the problem gambling affects others and can involve harmful risks. Problem gambling can cost a lot of money and take time away from a person’s family.
Allow students to role play situations where they may be asked to gamble. Help students decide what situations to act out and what the characters would say. Ask them to identify the risk involved with each circumstance. Use the list of student generated gambling situations to help you create the role play situations. This may take some time and effort to create a situation for each child, but remember that many gambling situations can involve a group playing a game together. .
Allow students to discuss the risk and consequences involved in each role play situation. Discuss the relationship between the increased risk and the increased consequences. Make sure students understand that problem gambling can be dangerous. However, gambling is a part of daily life for many people, and many gambling situations are harmless.
While students are discussing the risks and consequences, it will be obvious who understands these concepts and who doesn’t. Pay close attention to conversations while groups are planning their role play situations. These conversations will tell who understands and who needs additional explanation.