Deserted on a Desert Island – Alone!

  A ‘A.C.E‘ approach to understanding the difference between needs and wants.

The children opened their new project through imagining that they had been stranded alone on a deserted island.  

They were challenged to draw/write ten things that they would bring with them if they had the chance.  I purposely did not discuss survival and basic needs initially.  It was interesting to see the individual thought processes of the children as some listed top survival items such as a tent or fishing rod whereas other children found their ‘teddy’ at the top of their list!

In the following lesson the concept of survival was introduced as the children had the opportunity to challenge each other’s ‘survival lists’.  They then formed ‘Island Groups’ and were challenged to choose 10 items from their combined lists that they could share with their fellow islanders.  This of course introduced negotiation skills and they had the added challenge of coming up with the best survival list.

The children continued to work in their ‘survival groups’ imagining that they had been stranded for some time on the island.  It was time to build a temporary home.  They discussed responsibilities of group members such as food, water and tidying their shelter.  From here the children were challenged to create rules that would allow all islanders to live safely and happily together. 

Some of their rules included;

  • Do stay safe – stay together
  • Do work hard as a group
  • Do Share
  • Do be honest
  • Do look after the animals
  • Do follow the Island Rules.

Of course they also enjoyed deciding on suitable punishments for ‘rule-breakers!

  • Some of these included;
  • Swim with the sharks
  • Climb the coconut trees to collect extra coconuts for the group.
  • Sleep in the forest alone with no shelter!

The children showed no mercy with their punishments as they reasoned that the island rules should not be broken!

As you can see from the pictures the children have also taken full control of their display and we have had lots fun and chaos trying to paint the sky, sea, island, an abundance of palm trees and of course arranging their very important island information.