Students work in small groups to analyze a problem and discuss possible solutions. Students may work from written scenarios, situation cards or cues, or they may create their own situations. Scenarios used in the classroom often use a problem related to a “hot topic”. Purpose
Scenarios are an excellent way to build problem solving skills and enhance literacy and communication skills. As students read a scenario, they are engaged in texts that require thinking. Students learn to use their thinking skills to analyze the situation, identify the problem, brainstorm ideas, and consider the consequences for each idea. Scenarios allow teachers to gain insights into what students are thinking about and how they interpret particular situations. What to Do
Select several scenarios, create your own, or work with the students to describe a hot situation in which they have found themselves. Choose one scenario to discuss with the entire group, modeling the steps you want students to take as they discuss the scenario in a group or in pairs. Students or the teacher:
1. Read the scenario and clarify key vocabulary.
2. Identify the problem and clearly state it or write it down. 3. Brainstorm possible solutions (without getting bogged down in what may or may not work). 4. Select reasonable solutions worth discussing and lay out the consequences for each. 5. Decide as a group on one solution that might work, and, if appropriate, also identify minority opinions if the group cannot agree.
6. Report the solution along with a rationale to the rest of the group.