S: Survival

An enrichment activity for Key Stage 3 students, by John Senior

Summary: The essentials of physical and social survival

Whether we are packing for a day out, a holiday, a safari expedition or an adventure, we need to carefully consider what we need take with us, to avoid having a disappointing day or disaster when in a remote area.

Abraham Maslow developed a theory which looked at human activities being directed by what he termed a ‘hierarchy of need’. Maslow’s theory has been highly influential in many areas of human activity particularly in management applications.

His theory concerns our basic needs that must be satisfied if we are to survive and prosper, live and learn. There are two main categories in his theory, the needs we can call physiological and the needs we can address as security. The Physiological Needs include things essential to our survival such as the need for water, air, food, and sleep. The security needs are those needs that contribute to our actual or perceived need for safety and feelings of security.

Some questions for your pupils to consider and discuss

Imagine that everything we take for granted has stopped being available (clean drinking water for example), imagine that there is only food for a few days; you have no shelter and that yesterday the first snow of the winter fell. Imagine that you and your friends are feeling very tense and nervous; unless matters are carefully handled there could be trouble and arguments ahead.

For you and your group to survive this difficult situation until things are easier, what 12 items would be essential to have with you?

When you have narrowed down the essentials, what five things would you suggest that an Antarctic explorer would need to take with them as an emergency stand by for a visit to that hostile place if things get tough?

Going further

For more information about Maslow visit either or both of the following web sites:

Theories of personality: hierarchy of needs

Psychology: Maslow’s hierarchy

National Curricululm KS3: Citizenship: Pupils should be taught to: use their imagination to consider other people’s experiences and be able to think about, express and explain views that are not their own negotiate, decide and take part responsibly in both school and community-based activities [and] reflect on the process of participating.

 Learning and Teaching Scotland: The journey to excellence.

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