Canadian Survival

Task Overview
This is a fun activity for a conversation class and usually takes about an hour.   The task is for students to work in teams and create the best winter survival plan.  

Task Outcomes
  • Practice job interview skills and strategies
  • Communicate in speaking
  • Negotiate and choose 

  • 1 hour

Set Up
  • Split students into 2-4 groups.
  • Write the situation on the board (See below)

Team Goals
  • Companies must interview candidates and hire the best choice.
  • Candidates must be interviewed and select the best company to work for.


1.  Each team ranks items in order of importance for survival.

2.  Teams draft items from the list.  

3.  After the items are all chosen, teams create a survival plan.

4.  Teams present their plans to the group.

5.  Other teams are allowed to ask questions and show problems with the plan.

  • Teams are only allowed to use what they have chosen in their survival plan.  For example, if they do not have water, they need to show how they will find it.

  • Teacher chooses the group most likely to survive based on the presentations.

Feedback and Reflection
  • Teacher provides language feedback from interviews and discussions. 
  • Class discusses qualities of candidates that made them more or less 
Conversation Questions
  • What criteria did you use to rank the items?
  • What items would you add to the list?
  • What item would you remove from the list?
  • Which was the most difficult challenge to address? (Food, Water, Shelter)
  • What made you decide to stay or leave?
  • What challenges did your group face trying to agree on a plan?
  • How could you have presented your plan better?
  • What did the other groups shows that your group had not considered?

Task Variations
  • The situation and list of items can always change.  Winter survival is interesting, but deserted island is another option.

Emerging Language

  • When students rank the items, they will use comparatives and superlatives.
  • When students discuss the plan with the group, they will use opinion language (e.g. I think we should, What about if we, etc.)
  • The teacher can control the language for the presentation.  It can be hypothetical ("If we were stuck, we would..."), real ("We will..."), or in the past ("We created a camp...")

You are on a plane that crashes in Northern Ontario more than 300 km from civilization. Luckily, you and your friends all survive but now face the challenge of getting out of the forest and into safety. Considering the location, the temperature is well below freezing and there is a large amount of snow. After you look through the plane you compile a list of all the supplies that are still available. The list is as follows:

Large tarp
Survival meal replacement bars
An axe
Snow shoes
Pots and pans
3 winter jackets
First aid kit
Bottles of water
Metal siding from the plane
A sled
A rifle

You and your group must first decide what will be your plan of action. Will you try and travel to safety or wait to be rescued? Consider this before you decide which of the resources you will choose. Rank the objects in order of importance from 1 to 21.

No comments:

Post a Comment