Recently with my students I’ve been doing a ‘critical thinking exercise’, basically what would they do in hypothetical situations on a desert island. It’s turned out to be surprisingly hilarious and I thought I’d write some particular gems down and share them with everyone.
The first task: what item do you take to the island and why?
“I will take poison, because I want to die”
“I can’t swim so I will be dead anyway”
“I will take the umbrella. I can use it as a weapon, I can catch fish with it and I can use the top of it to stay warm”
“I want the shoes because I don’t like mine”
“I want an axe, because I like the pronunciation”
“I will get the rope, tie it to the box and pull the box to the island so we have all the items!” – this from Rose (a boy previously known as Volcano in my senior 2 special class)
The second task: cannibals are attacking, what do you do?
I can’t remember the quotes exactly so I’m just going to write a summary.
One special group planned an elaborate series of traps using rope around their house.
One group decided to teach the cannibals language and befriend them.
One group went for diplomacy which began a classroom discussion on the exact nature of the cannibals and whether or not they had the capacity to learn and understand language.
One group showed the cannibals the radio and they had a party.
Many groups became the God of the the cannibals.
One boy gave up completely and ran into the sea.
Many groups either sacrificed themselves by drinking poison so the cannibals would eat them and die or made someone in the group drink poison for the same effect. One group sacrificed the far kid in their group because he’d be the most delicious!!
And umbrella boy snapped his umbrella in half and took them all down singlehanded.
The third task: zombie time! (This was only done a few classes)
One group gave up entirely and were just eaten by zombies and started a zombie haven on the island.
One group had become the God of the cannibals and made the cannibals fight the zombies.
The group with the traps just waited it out in their house since they didn’t remove the traps.
One group built a ring of fire because zombies are scared of fire.
One group forgot the box concept entirely and blew them up with explosives.
Rose decisions that he had a pet Chihuahua that went around biting the zombies and turning them into zombie dogs.
And finally, one irritating group said that because zombies move slowly they could just move constantly around the island and be safe.
The fourth task: a helicopter has come and only half of the group can be saved!
Without a doubt this was was my favourite task because some groups took it so seriously.
The group which had sacrificed to fat kid tied the two girls in their group to the outside so all five could escape. This was a common solution, as was making a boat from the trees and attaching that to the helicopter too.
Several groups killed the policy to get the extra seat. They all reassured me that they can in fact fly a helicopter!
A few groups refused to split up because “we are family” and decided to stay on the island forever.
Lots of chivalrous groups saved the girls.
One hero saved the 2 girls in his group and the boy next to him “because he is smart”
One girl killed her entire group and flew away happily. That one made me laugh.
And Nathan in class 7 changed my drawing of a helicopter to an Apache and declared that he would use the radio to call the U.S Air Force to come and blow up the island.
The final task: Pirates are on the island, do you stay or go?
Most went with them because pirates are cool.
To sum up this was a fun lesson and I loved hearing the solutions to the problems. The students are so creative and it’s nice to exploit that part of them rather than the repetition of teaching vocab and grammar.