Critical thinking, communication, politics, philosophy, environmental awareness, economics.

Five minutes to change the world

This activity is really a simple one with minimal resource requirements other than students and you. Ask students to generate a list, as in any brainstorming exercise, of things that need to be changed in the world. Write down whatever they say without any judgement being made on its merit as a suggestion or idea.

When the suggestions begin to dry up, start removing ideas from the list (again, without judgement) until you have five ‘things that need to be changed’ on the final list. (The large list will, of course, have suggestions that will range from the fanciful to the profound.)

When this exercise is done the students are asked to prioritise one suggestion above all others and prepare a solution – a possible pathway – to manage the change they have decided upon. They present their ideas for ‘critical friend’ analysis and discussion. The students should only have five minutes for this exercise. If there are ‘don’t’ knows’, these, too, should be accepted without comment. The aim to promote awareness and discussion has been achieve and may well carry on elsewhere.

Keep it tight. Keep it fast.

Thanks to John Senior for this brainteaser.

Ed. Senior, J, and Whybra, J, Enrichment Activities for Gifted Children, (2005) Optimus Publishing, ISBN: 09546874-6-9

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