Gary Moore of AFS Intercultural Services uses this activity when he speaks to high schools students about living in another country to expand their perspective of the world.
He starts by giving the students a numbers game. He asks them each to:
- think of a number between 1 and 10,
- multiply that number by 9,
- add the two digits of that number together, and finally,
- subtract 5 from their final number.
After they’ve completed the math, he asks them to choose a letter of the alphabet that corresponds to the number they ended up with at the end. For example, if the number was 3, then the letter would be C.
When they have their letters, he asks them to think of a country that begins with that letter. Once they choose a country, he asks them to pick an animal that begins with the last letter of that country.
Eighty percent of the class will choose Denmark and Kangaroo. Gary tells them this is true for most American classes because the letter is usually “D”. When the students ask why, Gary explains that the majority of students he speaks to are European oriented because their ancestors came over from Europe. But if he were to ask students from Latin America for a country, they would probably say Dominican Republic.
Having made his point, Gary goes on to share why it’s an excellent idea to enroll in the AFS program and spend a year living abroad.