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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Role Playing > Role-Playing Scenarios
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Role-Playing Scenarios

Only a few of the following examples are actually ready-to-run in an undergraduate classroom, but they will provide inspiration and materials for your own role-playing exercises. Many of the scenarios, characters, and assignments need a few added details, which will enable you to tailor them to your course.


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The Use of a Piece of Land part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
In this role-playing exercise, students represent groups interested in buying the same piece of land and will need to consult land-use laws.

Earth System Topics: Human Dimensions:Land Use, Policy

The Grand Canyon part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
This interdisciplinary lesson plan deals with the consequences of damming in the Grand Canyon area. The students, role-playing as scientists, write a proposal to try experimental flooding.

Earth System Topics: Hydrology:Surface Water, Human Dimensions:Land Use, Environmental Quality, Surface Processes:Rivers and Lakes, Human Dimensions:Resources, Climate, Biosphere:Ecology, Solid Earth, :Earth Materials:Rocks, Human Dimensions:Natural Hazards, Policy

Jurassic Park Debate part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
This role-playing exercise casts students as scientific specialists, assigned to a group either supporting or opposing the cloning of dinosaurs. Each group researches and presents its argument.

Earth System Topics: Time/Earth History

Eruption! part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
Eruption! is a volcanic crisis simulation model in which students role-play villagers, the governor, volcanologists, and the press, working to preserve their lives and homes from an active volcano.

Earth System Topics: Solid Earth:Volcanoes, Human Dimensions:Natural Hazards, Policy

The Living Edens: Virtual Yellowstone Tour part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
Students take the role of park rangers during this lesson and make use of a virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, particularly its spectacular geologic features.

Earth System Topics: Solid Earth

Science in the Courtroom: The Woburn Toxic Trial part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
In this exercise, hydrology students role-play expert witnesses in a mock trial dealing with contamination of groundwater.

Earth System Topics: Hydrology, :Ground Water

Collaborative Decision Making: NASA's Deep Impact Mission part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
This is collaborative problem solving using data in which students role-play NASA and other personnel determining a good strategy for launching a probe to study a comet.

Earth System Topics: Solar System and Astronomy

The Forecast Factory part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
This is a highly scripted role-playing exercise in which students act out the elements of the weather-forecasting process, from TV announcers to the continuity equation.

Earth System Topics: Climate, Atmosphere, :Weather

WorldWatcher Project: Global Warming Project part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
In this exercise, students role-play advisors to various heads of state on the subject of global warming. The web site also has free modeling and GIS software and lesson and lab plans.

Earth System Topics: Biosphere:Ecology, Climate, Atmosphere, Earth's Cycles:Carbon Cycle, Human Dimensions:Policy