Reflection: Learning Communities The Tragedy of the Commons part 2: Regulated Fishing - Section 3: Student Legislation


One of the most interesting things that arose during this lesson was a need to name the students' groups.  This happened because, in a stroke of pragmatic inspiration, I tied the need to get rid of the excess candy from the activity to a need to motivate the students to make laws that would ensure their group's success: I announced before we began that whichever group had the highest total revenue for the day would win the leftover candy.  

After each round, I wrote the Total Revenue for each group on the board.  It was after the first round that I realized using group numbers would be confusing and uninteresting.  Since the activity referred to each group as a "region", I made my desk the North Pole and walked to each group, asking them where their region was.  I gave basic guidelines based on a group's tables location relative to my desk  such as "You need to pick a location in the northern hemisphere on the west side of the Atlantic Ocean" or "Pick a location in the southern hemisphere on the east side of the Pacific Ocean."  

The attached map of the classroom shows how the groups chose place names for their team.  Since making these initial groups for this project, I have continued using these names. 

It's nothing Earth shaking, but it adds a little flavor to the class dynamic.   

  Learning Communities: Putting a Name to the Place
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The Tragedy of the Commons part 2: Regulated Fishing

Unit 2: The Nature of Environmental Science
Lesson 3 of 17

Big Idea: In the second day of the Tragedy of the Commons lesson, students attempt to avoid environmental and economic collapse by regulating their fishing simulation with rules and "laws" generated by each group.

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