In the 'Think It Through' classroom game, students role-play real-life scenarios as they learn that all the choices that one makes have consequences and that those consequences affect others.
HOW TO USE
Five-to-ten 20-minute class segments (number of minutes may vary)
- Game Poster (PDF)
- Ten Role-Play Scenario Cards:
- Five markers (A, B, C, D, E), one for each group/team of students (PDF)
- Optional Bonus Cards
- Other: Class reward or treat (to be determined by teacher) for successful class completion of the game
The goal is to have each of five teams have their marker be placed upon the game poster by the teacher, signifying that each team has successfully completed a role-play scenario. When all five markers are on the poster, the entire class will have gained knowledge of decision-making, at which time the teacher will present the entire class with an award or treat for critically thinking about their choices and the consequences of those choices.
PREPARATION FOR THE GAME:
1). Separate class into five groups/teams of up to six members each. Assign to each group/team a marker (A, B, C, D, E), to eventually place on the wall poster (use pushpin or adhesive tape to apply).
2). Each group/team will practice a role-play (selecting from one of the Role-Playing Scenario cards), with each team member taking on a role. (Note: team members may need to share and work together on some of the roles, as there may be more team members than roles.) The group/team will eventually present their role-play to the rest of the class, showing that they have successfully thought through consequences of the choice made.
3). Before actually playing the game, brainstorm with students different parts that go into making a choice. Discuss that there is not one correct choice in situations, but that some choices can be better than others; that choices involve weighing different options, as well as the consequences, risks, and results of those options; that one can consult others when making a choice-friends, families, teachers-to take into consideration others points of view when making a choice.
4). Students should ask the following questions of themselves when deciding upon their choices in the role-play scenarios: Does the choice take into account other peoples views? Are others feelings considered? Whats at stake with a particular choice, e.g., a friendship, someones feelings, someones reputation? What personal feelings
might be influence our choices? What other factors might influence our choice, e.g. our prior experiences, values, and beliefs?
WHAT YOU WILL DO
Hold the ten Role-Playing Scenario cards (fanned out) and ask each group/team to choose one card (sight unseen) that they will act out. (After all cards are selected there will still be five role-playing scenarios left to play at a later time or to use as alternatives.)
This game can easily be modified to have all five groups present the same role-play scenario. With this variation, students can also comment/discuss on how different groups/teams can arrive at similar or different choices to the same scenario.
Ask each group/team to study the role-play scenario on the card they have chosen. Students will choose among themselves who will play which role and will practice acting out the scenario. As each group/team practices their role-plays, team members should decide what they think the best choice is (considering the criteria questions discussed with them prior to the game). At the conclusion of their practice, the students should be prepared to explain why they made their choice and should be ready to defend their decision (e.g., Why were other choices not made?).
Select one of the groups to start by presenting their role-play to the class center-stage (with the remaining groups to follow on other days of the week).
After the scenario is presented, ask the group to explain why they made the choice they selected. Discuss with the class whether or not the presenting group considered the following: the consequences of their choice, the opinions of others, the feelings of others, the risks of their choice, what and who were affected by the choice.
Have the class take a vote on whether they think the group/team made a well-considered choice, based on the above criteria. If yes, then that groups marker can be placed on the poster in one of the red squares at the bottom of the question mark. Once all five teams have successfully made it to the playing board, then the class as a whole has completed the game to receive their award.
If you and your class decide that the choice presented by a group requires further thought, then that group has the option to either present the scenario again, or choose an alternative scenario to present.
Encourage those groups/team members whose markers are already on the poster to support and encourage the other groups who are still working to make it on the poster, having students collaborate and work together as a community to reach the poster.
Option: Use the other cards: Smart Choice, Great Team Effort, Good Thinking, and Best Choices Wild Card to improvise additional incentives to students for extra effort and progress in understanding about choices, consequences, and decision making.
Class pizza party
Field trip to local community organization
Opportunity for students to work with teachers in lower grades for half a day on a special project to help build school community
Opportunity to follow the school principal or another school official for an hour to study choices he or she makes during the course of a day
Class presentation by a community leader