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Living in Democracy.
How Different we Are.How Different Our Needs Are.
THEMES: LIVING IN DEMOCRACY.
HOW DIFFERENT WE ARE.
HOW DIFFERENT OUR NEEDS ARE.
OBJECTIVES: - to understand the relationship of rights and responsibilities;
- to connect rights and responsibilities in daily life;
- to separate wants from needs;
- to connect human needs and human rights;
- to promote empathy with others who are different;
- to raise awareness about the inequality of opportunities in society.
TYPE OF ACTIVITY: prioritizing, discussion, consensus building, rule making.
MATERIALS: envelopes, copies of Wants and Needs cards, glue or sticky tape,
paper, markers, pictures of different people, copies of cards with
1. Organizing the group:
“Names and Adjectives”. Participants think of an adjective to describe how they are feeling or how they are. The adjective must start with the same letter as their name, for instance, “I’m Henri and I’m happy”. Or, “I’m Arun and I’m amazing”.
Ask the students to say how they understand what democracy is, what equality is, what the difference between rights, responsibilities and needs is.
DEMOCRACY – the right of everyone to be treated equally and the right to
vote on matters that affect them.
EQUALITY – the situation in which everyone has the same rights and
RIGHT – a thing that you are allowed to do according to the law; a moral
authority to do something.
RESPONSIBILITY – a duty to deal with something so that it is your fault
if something goes wrong.
NEED – the things that you must have.
3. “Sailing to a New Land”:
Ask the students to imagine that they are about to set sail to a new continent. There are no people living there now, so when they arrive, they will be pioneers establishing a new country.
Divide the students into small groups and give each group an envelope with all the Wants and Needs cards in, explaining that these are the things they are packing to take with them for life in the new country. Ask each group to open the envelope, spread out all their cards and examine them. (A few blank cards are provided and the students are given an opportunity to add some additional things they think they might need or like to have.)
Explain that the boat is setting sail now and begin a narrative like this:
At first the trip is very pleasant. The sun is shining and the sea is peaceful. However, a big storm comes up suddenly, and the ship is rocking. In fact, it’s about to sink! You must throw three of your cards overboard to keep the boat afloat.
Ask every group to decide what to give up. Explain that they won’t be able to get these things back later. Collect the cards which have been “thrown overboard”, and put them together in one pile.
Return to the narrative:
At last the storm is over. Everyone is very relieved. However, a weather report comes that a Category 5 hurricane is heading straight for the ship. If you are going to survive the hurricane, you must throw overboard another three cards! Remember: don’t throw away what you may need to survive in your new country.
As before, collect these cards and keep them in a separate pile.
Return to the narrative:
That was a very close shave! However, we are almost at the new continent. Everyone is very excited. But just as we sight land on the horizon, a giant whale crashes into the boat and makes a hole in the side. You must make the ship even lighter! Throw away three more cards.
Collect and put these cards into a pile.
Announce that finally they have reached the new continent safely and are ready to build a new country. Ask each group to glue their remaining cards onto a piece of paper so that everyone can remember what they are bringing to the new continent. Have you got all the things you need to survive? To grow and develop well?
Ask each group to hang their sheets at the front of the room and explain what they are bringing to the new land.
After each description, ask the whole group:
- Have you got all the things you need to survive? To grow and develop well?
- Were any decisions difficult for you? Which ones?
- Do all people have the same needs?
- Who may have different needs?
- What do you think about your final choices? Will you be able to survive in the new country?
- What would happen in this new country if you didn’t have…
4. “A Constitution for Our Group”:
Explore students’ experience and understanding of rules and responsibilities, starting with some restrictions that they already understand. Ask them to complete sentences such as this: “I don’t have the right to … because…” (e.g. I don’t have the right to hit people when I’m angry because…/ I don’t have the right to treat people unfairly.). List these and then ask the children to turn the statements from negative to positive (e.g. I have the right to…).
When students understand the process of creating rights statements such as these, divide them into small groups of four or five. Give each group paper and markers. Explain that:
- each group should make three or four basic rules for the whole group;
- they should use the phrase “Everyone has the right to…” (e.g. Everyone has the right to participate.);
- they can only write this down as a right if everyone in the group agrees.
Ask each group to present their rules. List these on the flipchart under the
Ask students what responsibilities they have. Using their papers and markers
they have to write the responsibilities for their group. Explain that:
- each group should write three or four responsibilities for the whole group;
- they should use the phrase “I have the responsibility to…” or “I should…”;
- they can only write this down as a responsibility if everyone in the group agrees.
Ask each group to present their responsibilities. List these on the flipchart
under the “Responsibilities” column.
After including all the rights and responsibilities, ask the students to review their draft constitution. Ask the students:
- Who is responsible for making sure that everyone follows this “constitution”?
- What happens when someone violates one of the rights?
- What rights do you have in your life (e.g. at home, at school, in other settings)?
- Who made these rules/rights?
- What responsibilities do you have?
- Who gave you these responsibilities?
- Do you need rights and responsibilities? Why?
5. “Bullying Scenes”:
Introduce the topic of bullying asking questions such as these:
- What is bullying?
- What are the different ways people bully?
- Why do you think people bully?
- How does bullying affect people who are bullied? People who bully? The whole community?
Ask each student to trace their hand on a coloured piece of paper and cut it
out. They should think of one person for each finger whom they can turn to
for support if they are being bullied (e.g. friend, parent, teacher, councelour,
school administrator, police, sibling). Ask students to explain the supporters
they have named.
Glue the “hands” onto the piece of paper in order to remember them.
Explain that now you will look at different ways people can respond to
situations involving bullying. Demonstrate how it will work:
- the facilitator will read a description of bullying. For each situation three possible responses are given. A fourth response is always open if you think of a different response;
- the students choose the response and say what advantages and disadvantages of the response are.
After responding the scenes, debrief the activity by asking questions such as
- Do people who are bullied need help and support? Why?
- Where can people who are bullied find help and support?
- What are some of the reasons that people bully others? Are they fair?
- Does anyone have the right to bully anyone else? Why or why not?
6. “Who’s Behind Me?”:
Explain the activity:
- each student will have a picture of a person taped on your back.
- everyone will walk around the room. When you meet someone, look at the picture and say some words that express the general opinion of society about a person like that. This is not necessarily your personal opinion but the labels or stereotypes that people use about this kind of person. These words might be positive or negative;
- write down the words used for you and try to guess what kind of person you are.
Stick a picture on the back of every student without letting him or her see it.
Give each student some paper and a pencil to record the words used.
Start the activity, with students mingling and giving each other words of
description. After around five minutes, bring the group together.
Starting with picture number one, ask each student to guess the identity of
the person in the picture based on how others have responded. Ask each
student to explain their guess. Then ask each student in turn what words were
said about the picture and write these words on flip chart or a blackboard.
After each student has guessed, take off the picture, show it to the group and
stick the picture on the blackboard/flipchart next to the relevant comments.
Discuss the following questions:
- Do you think most people in this community have ever met people like this?
- Does anything ever change your mind about a person?
- Why are labels and stereotyping unfair?
7. “Take a Step Forward”:
Introduce the activity by asking the students if they have ever imagined being someone else. Ask for examples. Explain that in this activity they will also imagine that they are someone else, another child who may be quite different from themselves.
Divide the students into small groups.
Explain that each group will take a slip of paper with their new identity. They should read the information.
Ask the children to choose the representative of their group. They will line up beside each other.
Explain that you are going to describe some things that might happen to a child. If the statement would be true for the person they are imaging themselves to be, then they should take a step forward. Otherwise they should not move.
Read out the situations one at a time. Pause between each statement to allow the students time to step forward.
At the end of the activity, invite everyone to sit down in his or her final position.
Debrief the activity by asking questions such as these:
- What did you imagine the person you were playing was like? Do you know anyone like that?
- Did you feel that something was unfair?
Debrief the lesson by asking questions such as these:
- What was our meeting about?
- Do we really differ or not? In what way?
- Do our needs differ?