Becky's Bright Idea Part 2
Important: The resource must be downloaded for this session. Also, if you are doing this over a number of weeks, make sure to note which they chose along the way, especially the one you end the session on. This will be important later.
In this session, the class are cast as the Board of Directors of Becky’s company (see Becky's Bright Idea Part 1).
They are tasked with steering the company through its development from Becky and her family, right the way through to a huge multinational corporation. Now the story of Becky enters the realms of fiction. Depending on where they go, the class can tackle issues of industrial mechanisation, animal testing, advertising/propaganda, women’s rights, unionisation and capitalism as well as engaging in public speaking, organised debate and decision making.
Familiarisation with the Power Point necessary to do this session will be essential, as questions can be asked that require some quick thinking. These can range from the mundane and definitional, “What is a loan?” to issues you may want to keep ambiguous in case it causes offence “Which poor country did Becky build her factory in?” to very real and important “Will animals be hurt in the testing?
Arrange the tables like a boardroom, a single long table, with the children facing one another across it. Each Power Point slide presents The Board with a dilemma. There are no ‘third ways’, tell them. Just like a real board of directors, they must quickly and decisively make a decision about which way to act.
After talk time on each slide, the children stand and ‘pitch’ to ‘The Board’. Different speakers get up and try to convince the others of going one way or the other. As board members, their success in guiding Becky's company translates to their own success and wealth.
Remind them throughout that they have a vested interest in making sure Becky's company makes all the right decisions. Each slide has an arrow. Clicking the arrow will take you to the next relevant slide. Be careful however, as there is no going back and the branching nature of the slides makes navigation without these arrows difficult unless one is an adept of both these slides and Power Point itself.
A big part of the session is reasoning in terms of pro's and con's. If the class are unfamiliar with the concept, introduce them to the following example:
The Pro’s and Con’s of exercise
The Pro’s and Con’s of something are the good points and bad points. The Pro’s of exercise are that it makes you healthier and might improve how you look. The Con’s of exercise are that it might be difficult, boring and even dangerous if you do too much. But we normally think that the Pro’s of exercising and better than the Con’s, and because of this we normally like to exercise to keep healthy. In this example we could say that the Pro's 'outweighed' the Con's, and that's why we choose to exercise.
Pro’s and Con’s will be what the class use to argue for and against the options they are presented with. Even if, and in fact especially if, they disagree with an option, encourage them to engage with it by thinking of the Pro’s and Con’s. At first, there are suggestions for Pro’s and Con’s, but eventually it will be left entirely up to the class to come up with their own reasons for deciding one way or another. After the debate has died down on each topic, open the decision up to a vote. Remind them that as board members, their duty is to vote and everyone must take part.
Becky’s family are really impressed with the idea of the Glo-Sheet. Her mum and dad asked around and between the rest of the family they manage to get Becky $100 to help her get started. She feels very proud that her family would give her this money, and she promises that when she makes her fortune with Glo-Sheets, she’ll pay her family back all the money they’ve given her – and more! But with this promise comes a great responsibility. And so Becky has to be very careful indeed and think very hard about what choices she should make with her invention.
The first thing she does is buy more paint, paint brushes and paper. With all this, she spends the whole weekend making Glo-sheets and managed late on Sunday night to finish 250 Glo-Sheets and takes them to school on Monday, selling them for $1 each.
Once the stimulus has been delivered, move onto the slides which will guide you through the rest of the session. As said above, the slides present dilemmas the choosing of which occupies the main part of the session. The material is easily two weeks work, and can be extended for deeper analysis with the following Nested Questions:
- Which was the most difficult choice? Why?
- Which was the most important choice? Why?
- Was it easy or difficult to make decisions as a group? Why?
- What is the best way to make a decision? Why?