Fire in the Forest is a role play simulation designed to stimulate a fresh and wider understanding of the global significance of the Amazon and the urgent need to address its problems.
Fire in the Forest can be played with participants at various levels of maturity and familiarity with the issues involved. The simulation is designed for the following groups:
In secondary schools, mixed student and adult participation, as a community event, can be most successful.
Fire in the Forest curriculum unit provides everything you need to run the simulation, including the following.
Themes and skills of Fire in the Forest include:
If the Fire in the Forest is held in a corporate or university setting with well-developed departmental structures, the following is a partial list of relevant subjects. In addition, the facilitator should check to see if the institution has certification or graduation requirements such as, e.g. global learning, sustainability or global education which could academically benefit students involved in the role-play.
In its most basic form, Fire in the Forest can be presented in as little as three hours. There are four distinct periods:
Each session can be completed in 40–50 minutes. How you choose to deploy the simulation depends on your circumstances. Implementing the simulation through a series of instructional periods, as a unit within a larger course, or in its entirety via a workshop setting are all worthwhile.
While Fire in the Forest can be run in a single session, there are many reasons why stretching the activity over a week or more is educationally advantageous, if you have the opportunity to do so. Longer times between simulation sessions reduce stress on the participants and also gives more time for preparation and also for discussion and coordination between the members of each negotiating team.
While Fire in the Forest can accommodate 40 players, a minimum of 16 participants are required. Smaller groups can operate with a reduced number of players, known as essential roles, without compromising the learning objectives of the experience. Another option is to join with another class.
Yes. To run Fire in the Forest with a single class, check the instructions for the "essential role list" to see if you can staff all the positions. If not, consider co-listing the course with another department. Co-listing brings the advantages of more students and a wider field of faculty expertise to draw upon for background preparation and advisement.
The amount of time required to prepare your students for Fire in the Forest depends on the course you are teaching and the level of awareness of your class. There are many issues and disciplines involved. Some obvious major areas are environmental protection, sustainable resource use, indigenous rights and culture, poverty and the role of government policy in addressing all of these areas. As the facilitator, it is up to you to choose which aspects you wish to emphasize and to generate enthusiasm in your students.
If you are running the non-workshop format, it would be best to schedule the Fire in the Forest near the end of your course. Then you will have plenty of time for preliminary assignments and to hold discussions that will prepare students for the role play.
Fire in the Forest can be deployed in a variety of ways depending on different settings, schedules, and technological resources available. This allows a flexible approach to meet any educational challenge and to adapt the simulation as needed.
Yes, there are e-mails and phone numbers available to set up appointments for both the workshop and college/university course level versions of the simulation.
Besides familiarization with a complex and globally significant environmental issue, there are many other valuable skills they can gain by participating in Fire in the Forest. A few examples are:
This question is discussed in detail in the introduction. An evaluation form is included and should be used after the debriefing. This helps the players to formulate and write down their experiences.
No. The teams and roles in Fire in the Forest are fixed. They represent vital points of view and levels of experience, designed to fit as closely as possible the reality of the actual situations. That said, there are certain roles deemed essential to maintaining the structural integrity of the simulation. These roles are clearly indicated in the facilitator's manual. Other non-essential roles can be eliminated if you lack sufficient participants.
If your organization is interested in a simulation to meet your specific goals, the design team is available to construct a simulation to meet your needs.
Fire in the Forest is serious undertaking, requiring a lot of self-control for students. And yes, we all have to deal with disruptive, attention-seeking students and cliques that inhabit our classrooms.
Quite simply, it is a matter of redirecting these energies into the roles of the simulation. One of your most important tasks is finding a way to matching the roles with their best portrayers. Also, the choices for team leaders, e.g. government representatives and settlers, need to have the skills to inspire the team members to work together. We have never had a simulation fail because of internal dissention among the players.
In the facilitator's manual you will find our collective expertise for assigning players to roles and teams. One of the dynamic ways of choosing roles is to have a "role auction" where you literally auction off the roles like an auctioneer.
Whatever outcome is reached!
There are no right answers here. The outcome of a Fire in the Forest simulation run emerges from the unique mix of skills participants bring to the negotiations. It is tempting to want to script a happy ending where everyone is satisfied, but this result may not occur. If the participants can seek common ground on some of the issues and begin to build some bridges of understanding, that would be a step in the right direction.
Under no circumstance should the facilitator intervene to shape the sessions. The facilitator is neutral and will have to advise each team according to its position in the simulation, even if they view that position as unfavorable to their own feelings and values. In other words, the results at the end of the simulation will provide a lot of material for additional discussions both on a personal and team level.
During the debriefing and discussions that follow the simulation, all the players can reflect on whatever outcome was reached and the reasons that led up to it. This is the time to dissect the strengths and weaknesses of the teams' and individual players' approaches and explore what alternative outcomes might have been possible.
Single user licenses of Fire in the Forest can be purchased by teachers and facilitators for $99. Discounts of 10 – 30% are available for multiple-user site licenses. (See shopping cart for more details.) Please contact us for licenses greater than 10 users.
Yes, once you have purchased Fire in the Forest, it is yours to use as often as you wish.