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March 1999 - Issue No. #34 (p.18)

Brainstorming Solutions to Global Issue

by Debbie Gutmann-Ashiri

Kibbutz Alonim, Israel

Here's a classroom language teaching activity which encourages creative problem solving, group cooperation and the serious consideration of how students and teachers can address an important world problem. The activity can be used on its own as a game or can be used as part of a lesson dealing with a particular social or global issue.

  1. Choose an issue that you want to deal with, then elicit all the information that the students know about the issue and about the problems associated with it. (You may want to add facts and statistics that you've gathered beforehand.) Keep this information on the board as you will need it later at the end of the game.

  2. Divide the class into teams of about 4 students each and explain the following task and point system to them. Each team must work together to brainstorm a list of as many solutions as they can to the issue and its associated problems. Encourage creativity! Ideas can be for solutions at the personal, local, national or global level. Any idea is acceptable.

  3. After a set period of time, stop the brainstorming and have each group read out their solutions. Each group gets one point for any answer that no other team has listed; an extra five points is granted to the team with the most creative solution. As solutions are read out, add them to the information you put on the board earlier.

  4. Of course, you will want to announce a winning team. Then, you can follow up with discussion, with further activities or with actions to be taken on the issue.


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