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Little Creatures Who Run the World

Classroom Activity

To observe how people in a crowd behave.

Materials for each team
  • copy of "Crowd Watching" student handout (HTML)
  1. Dr. Wilson argues that humans' inherent weakness is to emphasize the needs of the individual over the needs of society. Ask students for examples of situations that seem to support this argument.

  2. Copy and distribute the "Crowd Watching" student handout. To gather evidence, assign teams of students to observe a large group of people in a daily activity (such as a subway station, a supermarket, the school cafeteria, a sports event, etc.)

  3. As they observe, have students use the student handout to keep notes of how people do and do not cooperate with each other.

  4. After they have completed the activity, bring the groups back together to compare their observations.

Activity Answer

Depending on the place, time, and number of people in the location, observations will vary. In some locations where the "rules" of the place are clear, or where people are not in a hurry (perhaps in a shopping mall or in the supermarket check-out line at a slow time), students may find people waiting patiently or moving easily out of each other's way. In crowded places, or at times when people are in a rush to get somewhere, such as the food line at a crowded football game, or the train station at rush hour, people may be pushing each other and trying to get to the front.

Teacher's Guide
Little Creatures Who Run the World

Video is not required for this activity