Before you show the video of what actually happened, ask your students these two questions (it would be great if you do this question-and-answer in a way in which students could respond anonymously - perhaps using a survey tool like PollEverywhere😞
What would you do if you looked up and saw this baby dangling from a balcony? (Show students their answers to this question before asking the next one)
What do you think most other people would do in this situation?
What your students will discover:
most students will probably say they would do something right away to help (at least call 911 on their cellphones)
they'll also probably say that other people will watch longer until they call 911 or they'll do nothing at all.
Was Mamoudou Gassama a hero? Perhaps, but Mamudou also happens to be in extraordinary physical shape and bystander Intervention theory also predicts that when there's a crisis, a witness who has special training is more likely to feel a strong responsibility to act (this is why nurses and doctors are more likely to help in a crisis).
More Prediction Questions (if we change the conditions of the situation, what would someone do)?
Under what conditions would even Mamoudou NOT help? (if the baby was much higher up the building perhaps, or if it wasn't a baby but an adult hanging off the building..?)
What would happen if a police officer was in the crowd?
This activity is based on the Making Predictions teaching technique, which you can learn more about by clicking here.