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What Would You Do? Moral Dilemmas Book 1 Review by Jennifer Barker

Michael O. Baker
The Critical Thinking Co.
PO Box 1610
Seaside, CA 93955-1610

What Would You Do? Moral Dilemmas Book 1 aids parents and teachers in discussing problems and situations that students may face. This book is meant for grades 2-5. It is not intended to teach morals or ethics or to be used as a textbook for a student's personal use. This is a discussion guide only.

The introduction provides teaching suggestions and suggests way the book can be used. Thirty scenarios are covered, and with each one is a list of questions that will prompt a student's problem-solving skills as well as show them how to navigate their moral compass. Here is an example:

"Suppose a neighbor asks you to rake some leaves in her yard. She suggests you ask a friend to help you. You and your friend, working side-by-side, finish the job in a little over an hour. The neighbor gives each of you five dollars. The following week you run into the neighbor, and she gives you three more dollars, telling you, ‘I really appreciated the fine job you did removing the leaves from my yard.' " (p. 6) The teacher or parent would then discuss in-depth with the child how he/she should handle the situation. "Would you split the extra money with your friend?" or "What if your neighbor told you the three dollars is just for you?" What would you want your child to do?

Cheating, care for stray animals, and disobedience are just a few of the moral struggles faced by children. The author covers these topics and many more. It is important to use this book as a tool to prepare the child to make these decisions and to think over these topics in the safety and comfort of an adult's supervision. The adult or parent can help the child see the different sides of the issue so they can come to the best solution themselves. Then if a similar situation does occur, the child will already have a plan of action. Although the book covers a large age group, each topic would need to be evaluated for appropriateness for the age of the child.

Product review by Jennifer Barker, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2008