This activity is an exciting way to discuss William Golding's Lord of the Flies, and works well as part of a Survival-themed unit. As long as students continue to discuss the novel in a productive way, they are allowed to stay safe in "the lifeboat;" as soon as their discussion falls flat, or they are no longer contributing, a student from who has been observing the discussion (or a "floater") may jump in and claim their spot in the lifeboat. Not only are students engaged in discussing the novel's themes and symbolism, but this activity also allows them to identify and model effective group discussion techniques.
Please consider downloading the supplemental activities I have available for this activity as well. (See: "LOTF Lifeboat Discussion Evaluation Form" and "LOTF Lifeboat Discussion Instructions")