Cocktail Hour

Part One:

Number class off into four groups and assign each group a corner of the room. Once in their corners, have them sit and close their eyes and visualize something. For example, ask students to visualize a teacher that impacted them in some way (negative or positive) and then come up with adjectives for that teacher. Each group will collect their adjectives on a piece of paper.

Part Two:

Pick a scenario in which four different roles can be used and assign each group one role. For example, if the scenario was “teacher’s pay being cut by the government” the four roles could include: teachers, students, news reporters, and the government. Now, assign each group a task or goal pertaining to the scenario. For example, the news reporters are to try and figure out why teachers are on strike, the government are to try and avoid spilling the truth on why teacher’s pay is being cut, and students and teachers are to express their feelings towards the payment cuts. Once every group understands what they are to do they are ready to go to the “Cocktail Hour” to mingle with the other groups and work to accomplish their tasks. Give them a time frame such as 5-7 minutes for the Cocktail Hour. Once Cocktail Hour is over, have the students return to their individual groups to share and discuss the information they gathered pertaining to their goal. Students are to then come up with a written headline for a newspaper using their newfound information and then also form a tableau to go along with the headline. When the groups are ready, have each group present their tableau to the class while the class guesses the headline. Have the groups say their correct headlines.

Part Three:

For students to observe what they have just accomplished, have them once again close their eye but now have them reflect on their adjectives that they came up with at the start of the activity. To finish, you may ask them how they feel about those adjectives after experiencing the “cocktail hour” or have them summarize their feeling in a sentence.



  • Group work
  • critical thinking and discussion
  • New Perspectives
  • Any scenario can be used for the cocktail hour to fit any curriculum
  • Encourages students to be visual
  • Helps students understand the situation


  • Lengthy in time
  • A regular classroom with many desks and chairs may not be enough room


  • Can fit any curriculum depending on the chosen scenario


  • Any scenario/ issue can be chosen
  • Can fit any curriculum
  • After creating the headline as a group, students could individually write their own article to go along with the headline.

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