August 2007

Object Lessons and Debriefing

There are many activities and object lessons that can create an experience for students that will tie the point of the lesson firmly in their minds. The key to tying the experience to the learning that is desired is appropriate debriefing.

In this lesson “trust” could be experienced through the following short, hands-on activity. Have two volunteers stand up, one behind the other. Tell the person in front to close their eyes and slowly fall backward without bending their knees, trusting the person behind to catch them. (Note: It is easier to catch someone who trusts and stays straight than to catch someone who does not trust and buckles or flails around.) When several pairs have tried this, debrief the experience by asking the following types of questions:

Reflect: Questions that help them reflect on their experience. (How did it feel when . . . ?)

Interpret: Questions that help them interpret the experience. (Why was it more difficult when . . . ?)

Apply: Questions that help them apply what they learned from the experience to their lives. (What are ways that we . . . ?)