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Siemens Stiftung

The rainforest role-playing game: Protect or use?

Teaching ideas:
Instructions for a role-playing game that makes it possible for the students to experience the dangers for tropical rainforests.

The students should grapple with the reasons for rainforest destruction. The teacher first introduces the topic of rainforests in general and the consequences of their destruction. Then the students should discuss the causes of destruction. They can do so by putting on a fictitious talk show on the topic of "Rainforest - protect or use?" or by role-playing a "UN mini-summit." The students appear as representatives with different interests and defend their points of view.
Tips are provided to help the students prepare the content. The game situation is briefly explained. Then the six roles are described in detail:
· Plantation manager
· Fine wood dealer
· Native inhabitant of the rainforest
· Peasant farmer
· Consumer in central Europe/North America
· Conservationist
Background information and links to additional information are provided for working out the roles.
A double teaching period should be provided to prepare for and carry out the role-playing game.

Information and ideas:
Other roles can be added, such as an engineer for road construction.

Using the following sources: Dr. Tom Deutschle; WWF 2011 Living Forest Report; "Indigenous affairs 2/05," IWGIA (2005); "Geografie Infothek," Klett; Pro REGENWALD; Süddeutsche Zeitung (Sept. 2, 2012); Schrot & Korn Magazin (09/2012)

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