Tug of War
Connections and Extension

The Tug of War routine can be done in small groups, in pairs, and even solo. It can also be varied by exploring the fairness dilemma in additional ways. For example, the tug of war can be preceded by asking students to list the facts of the situation (perhaps by using the Reporter’s Notebook routine). It can also be preceded by exploring the different points of view that might bear on the situation (perhaps by using the Circle of Viewpoints routine). The activity can be concluded by brainstorming other options for resolving the dilemma beyond those represented by the ends of the rope. And for a fancy variation, you can have a three-way tug of war by adding a length of rope to represent a third option (yes, a three way tug of war is possible!)

A natural follow-up to the activity is to have students investigate facts related to the WHAT IFs students identified during the tug of war. Another follow-up activity is to ask students to a write short essay explaining their position on the fairness dilemma. Yet another follow-up activity is to have students create and perform a skit that dramatizes the dilemma.