Lesson Plan: Decisions Decisions
Curriculum Alignment
NAEYC Accreditation Criteria for Curriculum Standards

2C.04 Children have varied opportunities and are provided equipment to engage in large motor experiences that enhance sensory motor integration; develop controlled movement (balance, strength, coordination); range from familiar to new and challenging; help them learn physical games with rules and structure.

2D.03 Children have varied opportunities to develop competence in verbal and nonverbal communication by responding to questions; communicating needs, thoughts, and experiences; and describing things and events.

2G.06 Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that encourage them to think, question and reason about observed and inferred phenomena.

2G.07 Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that encourage them to discuss scientific concepts in everyday conversation.

2G.08 Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that help them learn and use scientific terminology and vocabulary associated with the content areas.

Head Start Indicators

Scientific Knowledge

  • Expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe and discuss the natural world, materials, living things and natural processes.
  • Expands knowledge of and respect for their body and the environment.

Language Development

Listening and Understanding

  • Demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.
  • Shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.
  • Understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.
National Science Standards

NS.K-4.3 Life Science

As a result of activities in grades K-4, all students should develop understanding of:

  • The characteristics of organisms
  • Life cycles of organisms
  • Organisms and environments
Learning Objective

Your Cerebral Cortex helps you with thinking and making decisions.


In this activity, students play a game where they need to make decisions. Then they learn more about how their Cerebral Cortex helps them. After doing this activity, children will be able to explain that the Cerebral Cortex helps them make decisions.

Step-by Step:

Start by explaining the rules of Duck Duck Goose to the class.

Say: You will pretend to be ducks and geese sitting in a circle. I will pick one person to be the fox. The fox will walk around the circle tapping each duck on the head saying "Duck."

During the game, the fox will make a decision and choose one student to be a goose. He or she will tap someone and say "Goose" when he taps that person’s head. The fox will then run around the circle as fast as she or he can.

Meanwhile, the child who got tapped chases the fox. If the fox can reach the spot where the goose was sitting and sit down without being tapped by the goose, she or he is safe. The goose then becomes the new fox.

If the fox is tagged, he or she gets to be the fox again. He or she will go around the circle in the same way as before, saying "Duck, Duck..."

After playing a few rounds of the game, listen to the song "Put On Your Thinking Cap" from Every Body Has a Brain soundtrack.

Song: Put On Your Thinking Cap

Ask: How did you use your thinking cap during the game?

Say: When you use your thinking cap, you are making decisions. Together with your students, define the word decision. Use a whiteboard or chart paper to make a list to document all of the ideas given by students.

Say: You are using your Cerebral Cortex when you make a decision! Your Cerebral Cortex is the largest part of your brain.

Use the diagram of the brain, available to print from this site, to show students where the Cerebral Cortex is located and how big it is. Tell them that if their Cerebral Cortex was rolled out flat, it would be the size of a pizza!

Now play several rounds of Duck Duck Goose again. This time, the picker or fox can say "My Cerebral Cortex picks….you!" when choosing a goose.

Provide students with brain diagram coloring pages to use during centers or free choice time.

Further Exploration:

Use these games and stories from Every Body Has a Brain for more exploration of the Cerebral Cortex.

  • Zippo Hippo
  • Make Music
  • Cerebral Cortex Brothers
Download Printables
Web Resources

Use the Web for information about more games that may fit this activity:

Mother May I:

Heads Up Seven Up: