Reflection: High Expectations Role Playing: What Should We Do about Mountain Lions in Southern California? - Section 5: Debate: a Community Forum

 

This actually turned out much better than I cuold have expected.  On the one hand, I do teach at a performing arts school, so I'm actually kind of surprised I didn't think of this roleplaying approach earlier.  Despite that, I think it's reproducible in any context.  Students that would otherwise remain a bit shy and reserved stepped up to the role they were given.  For example, the student that had the role of "Real Estate Developer" is an A student, but tends to be shy and doesn't usually participate in class.  In the debate, however, he played an essential role. 

 

Other students really got into the idea that each role had some "power" or say in the debate.  I would have liked to see the "celebrities" act out a bit more and would have loved to see the citizen groups be a bit more vocal in opposition to the real estate developer (or at least let the politician know that he would be held accountable at the polls), but it still went well as many students really inhabited their roles (e.g,. real estate developer, wildlife biologist, rancher, and politician). 

  Step Up to the Role
  High Expectations: Step Up to the Role
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Role Playing: What Should We Do about Mountain Lions in Southern California?

Unit 6: Biodiversity
Lesson 8 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to determine the opposing interests in a proposed wildlife corridor and argue one side of the issue in a mock community meeting.

Big Idea: Solutions to environmental problems require cooperation and compromise.

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