Making Good Moral Choices

Activity Objective

To practice making good moral decisions by role-playing different moral dilemmas and explaining the steps used to reach a decision

Lesson Outcome

The children will understand the role of free will in making moral decisions.


  • Descriptions of moral dilemmas
  • Copies of:

The Ten Commandments

1.I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange gods before me.
2.You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep the Lord's Day holy.
4.Honor your father and your mother.
5.You shall not kill.
6.You shall not commit adultery.
7.You shall not steal.
8.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9.You shall not covet yor neighbor's wife.
10.You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.

Precepts of the Church

1.attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation
2.confession of serious sin at least once a year
3.reception of the Holy Communion at least once a year during the Easter season
4.observance of the days of fast and abstinece
5.providing the needs of the Church

Summaries of Catholic Social Teaching

Life and Dignity of the Human Person: All human life is sacred, and all people must be respected and valued over material goods. We are called to ask whether our actions as a society respect or threaten the life and dignity of the human person.

Call to Family, Community, and Participation: Participation in family and community is central to our faith and to a healthy society. Families must be supported so that people can participate in society, build a community spirit, and promote the well-being of all, especialy the poor and vulnerable.

Rights and Responsibilities: Every person has a right to life as well as a right to those things required for human decency. As Catholics, we have a responsibility to protect these basic human rights in order to achieve a healthy society.

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: In our world many people are very rich while at the same time many are extremely pool As Catholics, we are called to pay special attention to the needs of the poor by defending and promoting their dignity and by meeting their immediate material needs.

The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers: The basic rights of workers must be respected: the right to productive work, fair wages, and private property; and the right to organize, join unions, and pursue economic opportunity. Catholics believe that the economy is meant to serve people and that work is not merely a way to make a living but an important way in which we participate in God's creation.??

Solidarity: Because God is our Father, we are all brothers and sisters with the responsibility to care for one another. Solidarity is the attitude that leads Christians to share spiritual and material goods. Silidarity unites rich and poor, weak and strong, and helps to create a society that recognzies athat we all depend upon one another.

Care for God's Creation: God is the creator of all people and all things, and he wants us to enjoy his creation. The responsibility to care for all God has made is a requirement of our faith.

Steps for making good moral choices:

1.Ask the Holy Spirit for help.?
2.Think about God's law and the teachings of the Church.
3.Think about what will happen as a result of your choice. Ask yourself, will the consequences be pleasing to God? Will my choice hurt someone else?
4.Seek advice from someone you respect and remember that Jesus is with you.
5.Ask yourself how your choice will affect your relationships with God and others.


  • To begin this activity, review with your group the steps for making good moral choices (see above).
  • Divide the children into small groups, or allow them to choose a partner for this activity.
  • Explain that they will be given a description of a situation in which they must make a moral choice.
  • In each case they are to

1.agree on what they would say or do in that situation,
2.decide how to role-play the situation for the larger group,
3.tell what information from the copies of the Ten Commandments and Church teachings was helpful in making their decision.

  • Distribute the following descriptions of moral dilemmas, one to each group.

1.One of your good friends at school just lost her dad to a heart attack. She seems to be avoiding you and is doing poorly in school. What do you do or say?

2.You go with a friend to the mall and stop in a music store. As you are looking through the CDs, your friend finds a new release by his or her favorite rock group. Before you can even say anything, your friend quickly hides the CD in a jacket pocket. What do you say or do?

3.You make the team! But then you discover that one of your practice times is at the same time as your weekly religious education sessions. What do you do or say?

4.Lately you've begun to notice that Josh, a quiet kid in your math class, gets picked on by other kids. Two of your best friends pick on Josh fairly often. You like hanging around with them, but you feel uncomfortable by some of the things they do to Josh. What do you do or say?

5.Last Saturday you spent the night at your friend's house and had a really good time, except that when it was time to go to Mass on Sunday morning, no one else got up to go to church. Your parents thought that your friend's family would be going to Mass on Sunday when they agreed to let you stay overnight. What do you do or say?

6.You and your mom just got back from a trip to the store where you bought a few new things for school, including some notebooks and pens. As you took them out of the bag, you realized that you have three notebooks, but only remember paying for two of them. You check the receipt and, sure enough, the store clerk didn't charge you for the third notebook. What do you do or say?

  • Give all the groups?time to plan their role-play of the situations and what steps they used to make their decisions.
  • Allow each group one or two minutes to role-play their dilemmas and to share with the whole group how they arrived at their decisions of what to do or say.
  • Ask the rest of the group to decide whether each decision was a good moral choice.

Learning Styles

Body Smart, People Smart

Approximate Time

20 minutes


Be sure that each small group is given the proper respect and attention when they do their role-play and explain their decision.

Limit props to whatever is available in the space where your group gathers each week.


If there are children in your group with special needs (physical, visual, hearing, language, or behavioral disabilities), adapt the activity accordingly.