Purpose: In order to express an understanding of accountability, students create and act out solutions to dilemmas.
1. Students prepare for the activity.
Divide the class into four groups by having students each draw one card from a deck of playing cards. Stack the deck so that the groups are evenly divided. Have groups form in the corners of the room by card suit (i.e., all the hearts in one corner, all the diamonds in another, and so on).
Explain that each group will be given a dilemma to solve. As a group, students are to discuss possible solutions, and then choose a solution to act out for the class. Suggest that groups create characters and a short script to follow. Tell them that each group will have two minutes for its performances.
2. Students create solutions to their dilemmas.
Explain that the “red” groups—the hearts and the diamonds—will each work on the following scenario:
You borrowed a laptop and headphones from a friend. While you were eating, you spilled soda all over the laptop. While you were trying to clean up the mess, you sat on the headphones and broke them. Now, your friend wants everything back. What will you do?
The hearts will work on excuses, or responses, in which they are not accountable for their actions. The diamonds will work on responses that show accountability.
Have the “black” groups—the clubs and the spades—work on the following scenario:
You have a big project due tomorrow. The assignment was given two weeks ago, and your teacher has been checking every other day to make sure that everyone is working on it. You’ve reported that you’ve chosen your topic and have begun to work on it, but you really haven’t. This project will count toward most of your grade, and there’s no way you can finish it in one night. What will you do?
Tell the clubs to work on excuses. Have the spades work on responses that show accountability.
3. Students act out their solutions.
Invite the clubs to perform their solution, followed by the spades. Then, do the same for the hearts, followed by the diamonds. If time permits, prompt a brief discussion of the performances by asking questions such as the following:
- How did you feel when the performers gave excuses?
- How did you feel when the performers were accountable for their actions?
- Which responses did you find to be more reliable?