Language Resident/Assistant Name:
Nicolai Diener

Class theme/topics discussed:
Desert Game

Goal of the class:
Finding a compromise
Finding the (best possible) solution as a team
Debate & discussion

How did you structure the class?

4.30 – 4.35:        Introduction & Scenario (Welcome students to class and introduce them to the topic “desert game”. Tell them the scenario in a dramatic fashion! [students on a plane/plane crashes/they are all by themselves in the desert and were able to save 15 items, which they have to rate according to their importance for their survival/their ratings will be judged compared to the solution and then reflected)

4.35 – 4.40:        Questions & familiarize with items (Make sure that every student understands the scenario and quickly introduce the 15 items – it is really important that the students know what those items are and if they have no idea what an item could be used for it doesn’t hurt if there is a short exchange about them within the class)

4.40 – 4.48:        Step 1: Work on your own (each student now has 8 minutes to think about the items and rate them from 1 to 15, depending on how important they think a certain item is to survive in this desert scenario)

4.48 – 5.00:        Step 2: Small groups (students are divided into small groups and within those small groups have to discuss the items and then come to a shared solution. It is not allowed for students to have different solutions within the small groups, so they have to discuss with each other and find a compromise together)

5.00 – 5.10:        Step 3: Plenum (students have to come up with a solution for the whole class. As in the step before, they have to come up with a shared solution for everyone – so they have to be able to find a compromise. Depending on the size of the class or the number of small groups there are two ways on how to handle the plenary discussion: a) every group selects one speaker that has to represent and argue for their solution in the whole class, while the others of the small group have to help and assist him with arguments or questions for the others, or b) everybody can speak.

5.10 – 5.20:        Solution (the teacher reads out the solution [find in documents] – students have to compare their own, small group and class solutions with the solution offered by the teacher and calculate the difference to their solutions. While reading out the solution there will be lots of surprises and students want to discuss that. If not you can always ask “Are you surprised by this” or something like that to engage small discussions)

5.20 – 5.30:        Reflection (ask students questions to allow them to reflect on the solution finding process, like: “How did the initial group process go? How did you proceed as a group to find a solution? How did you feel about the discussion in the group? How did you manage to reach a good result? Were all group members equally involved? What was the leadership like? Did a team leader emerge? How were decisions reached?”

What worked well in this class? What did not work (how could that be improved)?

The class worked really well – students were very engaged in the discussion and had a lot of fun thinking about how to survive in this scenario by making best use of the offered items. They were also really surprised by the solution – reading that out might take longer than expected and is a bit much teacher-focused. I really enjoyed that part, how surprised the students were and the discussions that followed that – but maybe there is a better solution, like handing out a handout and then having the groups discuss in small groups again on what they think about the solution. In general, it is important to give them enough time to discuss everything – otherwise they might feel that they were being rushed. But at the same time the class is really tightly scheduled, so it is important to keep an eye on the time.

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)

Internet resource (solution and further information : )