Submitted by : Adrian Comeau
Grade level This game may be appropriate for all grades (simplification may be necessary for grades 1-8)
Relation to Social Studies curriculum
Grade 7 & 8 GCO Students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of culture, diversity and world view, recognizing the similarities and differences reflected in various personal, cultural, racial and ethnic perspectives.
Grade 9 GCO
Grade 9 Key-Stage Curriculum Outcomes
Time needed approximately 60 minutes
Procedure, Part A
To begin, this activity needs 6 active participants. Everyone in the class is told that the first volunteer will look at a picture for one-and-a-half minutes while the others are out of the room. The picture will then be put away and the second volunteer will be invited into the room. The first volunteer will describe the picture to the second with as much detail as possible. After the first volunteer has completed their description, he/she will sit down and draw the picture from the description they had received. Meanwhile, the third volunteer will come in and listen to the description from the second one. This process will continue until the sixth person has heard the description and drawn a version of the picture. The teacher should emphasize that no questions are to be asked and that the class should be completely silent throughout. Now, the volunteers are given an opportunity to reconsider their participation. If necessary, new volunteers will be chosen.
Each volunteer puts on a badge designating number 1,2,3,4,5 or 6. The volunteers stay out of the classroom during the next step of the procedure. A suggestion would be to have those students spend time supervised in the gymnasium or library.
While the volunteers are absent, the other class members look at the picture and spend a few minutes agreeing upon a list of items in it. They write these in the left-hand column of their own copy of the checklist. It is explained that, as each volunteer describes the picture, class members are to enter a tick () if an item is accurately recalled, a minus (-) if an item is lost, a plus (+) if an item is added or embellished, and an (x) if the item is changed. A few spaces are left at the bottom of the left-hand column for continued recording of entirely new items.
Volunteer #1 is then invited in to look over the picture for one-and-a-half minutes while the other five volunteers are out of the room.
Next, the picture is put away and Volunteer 2 is invited into the room. Volunteer 1 describes the picture to Volunteer 2 in as much detail as possible. As this is occurring, listening students fill in column 1 of their checklists. It may be useful to tape record this portion, if the volunteers agree. This would provide back-up evidence in the case of a disagreement.
After Volunteer 1 has finished the description, he/she sits down and draws the picture from memory. Meanwhile Volunteer 3 comes in and listens to a description from Volunteer 2. As this is occurring, listening students fill in column 2 of their checklists. It may be useful to have volunteer #1 work where he/she can not hear or see the rest of the class, if possible.
The process of having volunteers come in and hearing the description by the previous volunteer continues until Volunteer #6 has heard the description and drawn his/her own picture. The teacher could remind the class that the class is to remain quiet throughout, simply completing the checklist. While the 6th person is completing their drawing, the class could be divided into groups of 3or 4. They could possibly discuss their observations from throughout the activity and from their checklists. They could choose a person to present their findings in the upcoming debriefing session. The students could also be assigned the task to discuss and provide examples of how this could be related to social studies and real-life.
At the end of the activity, the original picture and the six pictures drawn by the volunteers are displayed, in sequence on the classroom wall.
Procedure, Part B
In a debriefing session, the students should first be encouraged to share their ideas of what occurred, to identify significant events in the activity and to offer some initial explanation. Within the sharing the volunteers should be offered ample opportunity to speak about their feelings and reactions.
This section should finally move to the topic of how the students believe the activity could relate to real-life situations. They could discuss such ideas as;
This activity helps students understand why there are often many different interpretations of the same event or occurrence. This activity examines how peoples understanding and opinion can be influences. The students should be able to identify many important relations to their everyday lives.
The following are some aspects of the organization of the activity that could be discussed in the debriefing session to further explore the central ideas;
1. Under the ideas of selection and classification;
2. How the volunteers used association;
3. How results may be influenced by emotions and personality;
The potential of the activity could be enhanced considerably by arranging with classes in other schools in different countries to conduct the experiment using the same picture.
1. A variation that may have more student involved in smaller groups. The students could form groups of six and send one member to look at the picture. The group representatives who have seen the picture then take a seat within the empty area and out of earshot of each other. The second member of each group comes forward, has the picture described to him and so on. The process of describing and drawing follows that outlined under Procedure, Part A.
2. Another variation would be to have the students form groups of six or eight and sub-divide into pairs. One partner is nominated A, the other B. A students are given one-and-a-half minutes to look at the picture. They then describe the content of the picture to B students out of earshot of any other pair. B students then draw their versions of the picture. This option would have more students involved and the completion time could be decreased. As well, this variation provides more experience for comparison
1. To enhance some of the observations, the class could repeat with a real-life scene substituted for a picture. A volunteer goes out into the school corridor or grounds and observes what is happening for a few minutes. Returning to class, he/she recounts what he/she has seen to the second volunteer, and so on. This works best if the second to fifth volunteers are not told by the teacher or the first volunteer where the described action took place.
2. Another idea may be to have another teacher enter the room and engages in a (pre-arranged) conversation with the class teacher. This could possibly be an excited interchange about an event that has just occurred or will soon occur, an argument of mounting intensity, or some other type of conversation. Once the visitor leaves, the teacher should ask the students to record their observations of what just took place. In the debriefing that follows, versions from the student witnesses are compared and contrasted, and lessons drawn.
3. The class decides upon a rumour, of the harmless variety, to spread through the school and/or community. A careful plan should be devised to study and document the beginning and evolution of the rumour as it spreads.
4. Students study an important international historical event using primary source materials and secondary source materials. This could be done between schools in different countries which could share resources. The final activity may be to exchange, compare and contrast the final projects.
Pike, G. and D. Selby. 1999. "The Rumour Experiment" in In the Global Classroom 1 pp.171-178. Ontario: Pippin Publishing Corporation.
Wolsk, D. 1975. An Experiment-Centred Curriculum: Exercises in Perception,
Communication and Action pp. 30-35. Paris: UNESCO Educational
Studies and Documents, No. 17.