During Advisory period, sixth graders have been grappling with what it means to come to consensus. For them, it’s called the Consensus Project. Students are given a hypothetical situation and need to form and build consensus on how to best handle and proceed as a group in a particular situation given the facts and conditions set in front of them. This year’s class dealt with the aftermath of surviving a plane crash in an uninhabited, rural area, trying to determine the best course of action to get rescued. Should they stay put or try to make it to the nearest town, which happened to be 45 minutes away, in the dead of winter?
This is very deliberately a part of the sixth grade curriculum to build a foundation in the first year of DCD’s middle school program. There are many lessons learned in this advisory-group activity which will serve them well during their three-year journey through middle school and beyond:
- Understanding what consensus is and learning how to compromise
- Improving one’s communication skills, practicing articulating viewpoints, and listening to others
- Encouraging understanding and accepting the fact that others may have different values and viewpoints
- Treating one another with respect with appropriate language when exchanging differing ideas and opinions
- Team building to get to know each other in a different context and having fun.