Children played the ‘Ark’ game as a speaking and listening exercise, in order to reinforce their prior learning about the difference between facts and opinions. The premise is that each pair of children represents an animal species. They have to think of both facts and opinions to support their claim to a place on the ark, and therefore for their species’ survival.
Each pair chose their species at random from a hat, prepared notes for their case, and delivered their argument to the class. Final places in the Ark were voted upon, based on children’s use of both facts and opinions about the animals (e.g. “The cheetah is the fastest land animal, therefore it will be the best at hunting when we arrive on land.”), and how convincing their presentation was. There were some impassioned pleas for the survival of penguins, polar bears, spiders, rats and even wasps.
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