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30/01/14  |  Lesson plan

Lesson plan:‘Should we have a new ski run?’ by Museo delle Scienze, Trento.

Are you a teacher or educator looking for ways to stimulate ethical debates about conservation issues?

Museo delle Scienze, Trento, developed this lesson, as part of the INQUIRE project, to teach young people about how to form structured arguments and research ethical stand points, as well as getting them to think about conservation.

Where science, economics and tourism are concerned there is often a conflict of interests. In this role play young people will see this first hand as they debate over whether or not a new ski run should be built. This is a challenging lesson, with a healthy dose of debate and competition, which is sure to keep young people engaged.

Members of the class are each given a character, such as science teacher, ski instructor or forester's Officer. They then research their position and argue their case, during a mock referendum, in an attempt to convince others. A vote is then taken to see if the ski run will be built.

By completing this activity, young people are given a realistic impression of the factors at play in decisions of this nature. They will learn to discuss complex problems, examine pros and cons and realise that opinions must be backed up by evidence. Additionally, they will see the link between human action and extinction.

The  lesson is suitable for young people aged 10 to 13 years old and takes 3 hours to complete.

You can download the lesson plan, which includes details of the activities and character outlines, here.

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