Sometimes it is easier to think through an issue if you are asked to “take a stand” on it. For this activity, students are being asked to take a position and articulate their views on several contemporary issues that are related to a population of over 7 billion and their resource consumption trends.
When the students enter the room, there are 5 signs reading “Strongly Agree,” “Agree,” “?,” “Disagree,” and “Strongly Disagree” around on the walls. It is explained to the students that I will be reading several statements to them, and that they should stand in front of the sign that most closely represents their reaction to the statement I’ve read. They will then be asked to explain their particular stand on each issue. They are free to move to a different sign if/when their opinions change after hearing their classmates’ views.
The students greatly enjoy the debate, and it is always interesting to actually SEE their opinions change when they move PHYSICALLY from one sign to another. It’s great to hear their dialogue and debate on ethical issues related to population and the environment. It is helpful in clarifying personal opinions, and expanding their skills in articulating their thoughts on statements that deal with ethical issues about population and the environment!