AgDARE: Tips For Using Narrative Simulations
These stories work best in small groups of 3 to 4 students. Try to structure the groups so that the students have varying levels of reading abilities. You don't want all of the "good readers" in one group, since you will need these readers to help move the slower readers along. Although the simulations are written at the sixth grade level, occasionally students will encounter difficulty with some of the words. Structure desks and/or tables in a series of small circles or clusters to encourage intra-group discussion but not inter-group discussion. Be sure to tell the students that these are true stories, but the names have been changed to protect identities.
Each student in the small group is given a problem booklet and answer sheet. The students in each group work the first issue, discuss their ideas, and then mark their answers on their individual one-page answer sheet. Once everyone in the group has marked their answers for that issue, the group reads through the next issue to the next group of questions. After completing the entire simulation, students compare their answers with the answer key. The students, as a class, then discuss their answers and the feedback from the answer key. Remind students not to mark in the problem booklet so that problem booklets can be used again. We recommend having the problem booklets bound with a plastic spiral ring. You may wish to laminate the covers. Answer keys can also be used again. The only material that must be copied for each use is the one-page answer sheet.
Each student should add up his/her score. Instructions for calculating the score are listed at the end of the answer key for each simulation. Performance scores can also be used as a measure of learning, particularly if you use the narrative simulation after teaching about farm safety using other strategies. If you like, students can also complete the evaluation included with each narrative.
Asking for areas of disagreement with the answers provided is a good way of getting myths about injury risk and misperceptions out in the open and provides a stimulus for teaching and reinforcing safety behavior.
completing the simulation, it is good to have each group discuss
with the total class what part of the story impacted them
the most and why. Asking for examples in their own families
of similar situations can reinforce that no farm family is
immune to injury and disability, and all face similar risks
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This curriculum guide was supported by Grant Number 1 R01/CCR414307 from NIOSH. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH. Special thanks to Dr. Ted Scharf.
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