Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint sheets "Authority," "Majority," and "Consensus," from Activity 2
Preparation for Activity
- Read the description of this activity. Then, come up with scenarios to offer the group for role play in addition to those presented here.
- Clear space for children to physically reconfigure their group to embody (1) a decision made by one person's authority, (2) a vote in which a majority will win, and (3) a consensus decision. Plan how any children with limited mobility can fully participate. You might designate a child with limited mobility as the "authority" so they do not need to move.
Description of Activity
Children role play making decisions as leaders.
Invite participants to role play the use of authority, majority, and consensus in a situation where a decision needs to be made. Present a scenario-your own idea, or one of these:
- It is the leader's birthday party. All the party guests want to play a game, but they only have enough time to play one game. What game will they play?
- A group wants to order pizza. They have enough money to purchase one large pizza with up to three toppings, or three small plain pizzas. Order the pizza.
- The group is a classroom and the leader is the teacher. The class will take part in a school Halloween play. They can be a group of mummies, vampires, or singing pumpkins. What will the group be?
Act out "authority" first. Designate one child as the authority and explain that their decision is the one the group must follow.
Then, act out "majority." Help the children clarify the choices, and hold a vote. Have children move physically to show their vote. Count heads to find the majority, and announce the decision.
Finally, act out consensus. Encourage the children to arrange themselves in a circle, and guide them to take turns sharing their opinions. Facilitate only as much as needed, with comments such as "It sounds as if you have decided... " or "Many people seem to think [X] is the best idea."
- After enacting each method of decision making, help the children reflect: Was everyone given the opportunity to voice an opinion?
- Will everyone be happy with the decision?
- Was the decision fair?
Once you have enacted all three approaches to one scenario, ask:
- Was the decision the same each time? Why, or why not?
- Is it sometimes okay for a leader to make a decision without consulting everyone involved? Why?
Enact and process another scenario, if time allows.