What is a narrative scenario?

Too often, teaching can be hampered by lack of student motivation. There are numorous reasons why, some of which are that the most common format is too teacher oriented, that students experience learning as something that is being forced upon them, and that the subject being taught is too far removed to practical application, and therefore comes off as irrelevant.
Narrative scenarios are a way of addressing these challenges. By framing assignments within a story, narrative scenarios provide context and relevance. The “what if” approach encourages students to play around with the assignments, which is generally perceived as motivating.

When running a narrative scenario, the teacher becomes a storyteller. This might sound more daunting than it is: In fact, it is up to the individual teacher how much you want to improvise, or if you prefer reading alound from one of the relevant narrative texts found on this site.
When you open Lesson 1, you will see that each lesson begins with a text box containing instructions for the students. Below, you will find the teacher section. Along with instructions on materials and preparations, you will find a short text that describes the narrative of the lesson. If you want, you can opt to play a professor – or chief scientist – who is in charge of the teams of scientists that the students are playing.
Remember that adding playfulness is part of the reason we suggest that you apply narrative scenarios as a teaching method.

Lesson overview

Below you see the titles of all nine lessons included in the lesson plan. Note that it is up to you how many of them you want to use, but we recommend that you stick to the order, as they fit into the narrative chronologically.

  • Lesson 1: The Billionaire I
  • Lesson 2: The Billionarie II
  • Lesson 3: The Martian Samples: Hands-On
  • Lesson 4: The Martian Samples: Simulation Experiments
  • Lesson 5: The Martian Samples: Decisions
  • Lesson 6: The Pandemic: Hands-On
  • Lesson 7: The Pandemic: Simulations Experiments
  • Lesson 8: The Pandemic: Decisions
  • Lesson 9: The End
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