This is a group activity where students imagine they are going to be part of the committee that will decide how money is spent in their school.

Author: 
Jo Budden

They should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a list of possible new resources for their school and try to come to a decision about the importance of the items. They should try to prioritise. If it is too difficult for them to order them all, ask them to choose the top three.

Preparation

Prepare a list of items and make sure your students understand them.

Example list:

  • Books for the library
  • New furniture for the classrooms
  • A new sports centre
  • More teachers
  • A new computer room
  • MP3 players for every student
  • Laptops for every student
  • Interactive whiteboards for every classroom
  • A new dining area for lunchtime
  • A common room for students to relax

Procedure

  • Get the students to work in small groups.
  • Tell them to imagine your school has been given a large sum of money to spend on new materials. They are part of the committee that will decide how to spend the money.
  • Ask the students to put the items in order from the most important to the least important.
  • Make sure they discuss it together and are able to defend their choices.
  • After the groups have decided you might like to join two groups together so they compare and justify their choices. You could also award points to the group that has the best plan and the best justification for their choices.

Follow up

To follow this up you could ask the students to imagine the school of the future and design their own school. Offer them unlimited funds and see what they can produce.

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