What does easy role play mean

Grafstat methods


Didactic advice



The role play is a method in which the reality of life is combined with playful action. Everyday situations, problems or conflicts are modeled in role play or worked on with foresight.

The aim of this method is to clarify attitudes and behaviors and to point out starting points for changes. In this way, role play can train young people to perceive and observe their social environment. Empathizing with reality enables students to depict and analyze conflicts. In addition, they can consciously experience their own behavior and practice new behavior.

From a teaching practice perspective, it is important to distinguish between spontaneous and guided role play. In the case of spontaneous role-plays, game situations from the immediate area of ​​experience of the students are taken up. These include, for example, conflicts in the family and problems at school. If the lessons are aimed at behavior training, strengthening the skills or social learning in connection with the living environment of the young people, spontaneous role play is recommended. Since the situation to be simulated is known to those involved from everyday life, this type of role play does not require any major preparation other than a brief introduction. The pupils only have to be given a framework action, while the course of the game and the design of the roles remain flexible. The term "spontaneous role play" is not derived from the fact that the pupils begin to act on their own, but rather refers to the rapid implementation of the game idea in the course of the lesson.

In contrast to the spontaneous role play, there is the guided role play. In this way, situations or problems are dealt with that do not come from the experience of the students, but anticipate future life situations, simulate other areas of life or relate to historical processes.

Guided role plays require preparation by the teacher and must be prepared and followed up in the classroom. Information material, role cards with instructions for the players as well as tasks for generalization and transfer characterize the guided role-playing games.

Suggested solution to the role play "Voting behavior of certain population groups"



Since areas of life are simulated here that go beyond the everyday experiences of schoolchildren, the use of the guided role play is recommended.

The following roles are provided:

- the older woman

- the unionized worker

- the self-employed businessman and

- the environmentally conscious student.


Organization and course of the role play

Preparation phase:
  • The class is informed of the initial situation. The worksheet is used for this.
  • The groups receive information about the respective roles.
  • The groups decide which party the person they represent will vote for. Here it is important that the students can objectively justify the decision from the point of view of the respective role and that they can work out the arguments for the game. (The use of party content is recommended to aid decision-making).
  • The individual groups choose a player.

Game phase:

  • While the actors act, the other students observe the game and note down both the choices and the reasons.
  • As a teacher, you should not interfere with the game if possible. Humor should be allowed, but no foolishness.
  • If the school has the appropriate equipment, the role play can be recorded on video. On the one hand, the players can observe their actions, and on the other hand, the recording can be used in the evaluation phase.

Evaluation phase:

  • The players get the opportunity to express themselves about the performance, their role and their feelings.
  • The observers comment on the course of the game. For example, did a voting decision surprise you?
  • The whole class discusses the individual choices and the reasons for them. The respective voting decisions with the most important reasons are recorded.
  • In the following hour, here with the topic "Voting behavior in different population groups", the results are taken up and compared with findings from electoral research.


Possible difficulties in role-playing games

Since the same difficulties can sometimes arise in all forms of role-playing games, the following possible difficulties are formulated in general terms.

Possible difficulty during the preparation phase:

  • Too little time is planned for the preparation phase. The students work under time pressure.
Possible difficulties during role play:
  • The roles are not linked to the life situations of the students. As a result, the performance can appear forced.
  • The game management intervenes strongly in the course of the game.
  • Caused by the fear of exposing themselves or embarrassing themselves, the actors have inhibitions during the performance. (This difficulty in particular can be counteracted by working out the roles in small groups, which then select the actor or actress from the group and by regularly using role-plays. In this context, it is particularly important that the performance is assessed in a relevant manner.)


Possible uses



The task of mentally empathizing with a person and, as in the example, arriving at an objectively justified voting decision from their perspective is suitable from grade 10 onwards.

At the beginning of the module, the students learned about voting behavior in certain population groups. In the further course, the students will deal with the question of which factors influence voting behavior. Thus, the use of the role play in this phase serves on the one hand to safeguard what has been previously worked out, since representatives of different population groups are presented here as examples. On the other hand, it serves as preparation for the following content (e.g. creating an election forecast). This insofar as the students make a choice from the role perspective and can thus derive factors that have determined their choice.

Two hours should be allowed for the use of this method.