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Activities to foster children/pupils problem solving skills

      MODULE   

3

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About the Module 3

• Active listening is one of the key skills that contributes to the positive result of problem solving. Listening is not just a hearing process but the ability to comprehend and think critically.

• To solve the problem well and efficiently, first you need to communicate effectively. In turn, proper communication requires well-developed skills of active listening to ensure good understanding.

• This module is an invitation for teachers to act according such an attitude and can help them shape the abilities which will make them more attentive to their pupils.

Who are the targets

• This module is designed for Youth Workers who work or will work with Teachers, Parents, Carers, Educators. It can be used by different facilitators and trainers who want to conduct trainings with this specific target group.

Objective 1

Objective 2

Objective 3

Objective 4

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Give pupils the room for extending problem solving skills by reinforcing their listening, communication, and creative thinking skills

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Foster reflection and analytical skills, develop discussion and argumentation skills

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Develop skills of fostering pupils’ independence

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Develop skills of active listening, empathy, non-verbal communication

Learning objectives

SOME ACTIVITIES YOU WILL FIND IN THE MODULE

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Evaluation and test

Test – parenting style

Evaluation of the module

Description

Active listening is one of the key skills that contributes to the development of the children. Listening is not just a hearing process but the ability to comprehend and think critically. In fact, active listeners show higher level of communication skills and problem solving. 

To solve the problem efficiently, first, you need to communicate effectively, and then you need well-developed skills of active listening to ensure good understanding. Pupils should be prepared to be independent, reflective, self-confident and able to take the initiative. They will not stay on their way in looking for solutions, but let them try their own ways, allow for mistakes, and at the same time provide a support. They will challenge them, but help whenever asked for. This module is an invitation for teachers to act according such an attitude and can help them shape the abilities, which will make them more attentive to their pupils.

For whom is designed this Module?

This module is designed for Youth Workers who work or will work with Teachers, Parents, Carers, Educators. It can be used by different facilitators and trainers who want to conduct trainings with this specific target group

What is the goal of the training?

The training goal of this module is to focus of development of teachers’ skills of active listening which are the first and necessary step in letting their pupils solve the problems independently and to give concrete activities for teachers.

What are the learning objectives and learning skills?

After this training module, the learners will:

  • Give pupils the room for extending problem solving skills by reinforcing their listening, communication, and creative thinking skills;

  • Foster reflection and analytical skills;

  • Develop discussion and argumentation skills;

  • Develop skills of fostering pupils’ independence;

  • Develop skills of active listening, empathy, non-verbal communication..

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The trainer welcomes the participants and introduces her/himself. The trainer presents the project TeachersWay briefly.

Afterwards, she/he proposes an Ice-breaker to help participants get to know each other.

The trainer makes an introduction and gives the presentation of module’s objectives and theoretical background (TeachersWay Module 3 presentation).

Then, the trainer facilitates a set of chosen exercises and activities. In this module you can find 10 activities. All of them you can adapt and use based on your target group and the size of group.

Tips for the Trainer:

  • Provide a variety of problem-solving experiences;

  • Create accepting environments;

  • Give children time to draw their own conclusions;

  • Try to engage and let as many children as you can to speak up;

  • Adjust the activity to the children’s age, skill and previous knowledge.

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Activity 1 - Words that Wound.jpg

For whom : 10 – 13 years old

Duration : 60 minutes

No. of participants : 5 - 20 participants

Place : Classroom or outdoor space

Characteristic : Discrimination, health and welfare, participation

Materials : Post-its or slips of paper and sticky tape, chart paper and a marker, or blackboard and chalk, copy of CRC Article 13

Goal : To reflect on the causes and effects of hurtful language; To understand how people may respond differently to different terms; To understand the limits of freedom of expression; To practice skills for opposing hurtful language.

Pedagogical appeal : A central learning point of this activity is that the same words can have very different feelings, i.e. a word that one child may consider playful another will feel to be very hurtful.

Instructions box – Words that Wound

Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 13

1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.

2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) for respect of the rights or reputations of others; or

(b) for the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals.

Write out and/or read Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Article 13 aloud. Point out that this article of the CRC gives a child the right to freedom of expression but specifically restricts expression that violates the rights and reputations of others.

Discuss freedom of expression by asking questions such as these:

  • Should we always be able to say whatever we like?

  • Should limits be placed on what we can say about our thoughts and beliefs?

  • What kind of language would violate the rights of others?

  • What kind of language would violate the reputation of others?

  • Explain that this activity will explore some of these questions.

Give everyone slips of paper and ask them to write down hurtful comments they hear people say about other children or names that children call each other, each one on a separate slip of paper.

Make a scale on the wall such as the one below, ranging from ‘Teasing / Playful’ to ‘Extremely Painful / Degrading’. Ask the children to put their words where they think they belong on the scale. Encourage them not to talk during this part of the activity.

Then ask everyone to examine the wall silently. Usually the same words will appear several times and are almost always rated at different degrees of severity.

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Evaluation form

When the children are sitting down again, ask them what they observed, guiding their analysis with questions such as these:

  • Did some words appear in more than one column?

  • Why do you think some people thought a word was not hurtful and others though it was painful or degrading?

  • Does it matter how a word is said? Or by whom?

  • Why do people use words such as these?

  • Is hurting others by using words a form of violence? Why?

Ask the children if they can see any patterns or categories among these hurtful words. As the children begin to identify and mention these categories (e.g. about physical appearances and abilities, mental characteristics, sexuality, family or ethnic background), write down the categories on the board. Guide their analysis with questions such as these:

  • Are some words only for girls? For boys?

  • Why do you think hurtful language falls into these topics?

  • In what topics or categories do the words considered most hurtful seem to be?

  • What conclusions can you draw about hurtful language from these categories?

Ask the children to remove their slips of paper from the first chart and place them under the topic or category where they best fit. You may want to have one category labelled ‘Other’. When the children are re-seated, ask questions such as these:

  • What categories seem to have the greatest number of slips? How can you explain that?

  • Do the words considered most hurtful seem to fall into particular categories?

  • Don’t answer aloud but consider: do the words you use yourself fall into a particular category?

Divide the class into small groups and give each group several of the slips containing the words considered most painful. Ask someone in each group to read the first word or phrase. The group should accept that this is a hurtful comment and discuss 1) whether people should be allowed to say such things, and 2) what to do when it happens. Repeat the process for each word or phrase.

Ask the children to report back on their conclusions in Step 3. Relate hurtful speech to human rights responsibilities by asking questions such as these:

  • Do adults have a responsibility to stop hurtful speech? If so, why?

  • Do children have a responsibility to stop it in their own lives? If so, why?

  • What can you do in your community to stop hurtful speech?

  • Why is it important to do so?

  • In what way is hurtful speech a violation of someone’s human rights?

 
Activity 2  - Knives and forks.jpg

For whom : 12 – 14 years old

Duration : 60 minutes

No. of participants : 6 – 20 participants

Place : Classroom / outdoor space

Characteristic : Principles of participation

Materials : A knife and a fork, flipchart, paper, pens

Goal : to explore how empowerment depends on transparency and sharing; to experience being in a situation where participation is a challenge.

Pedagogical appeal : To introduce the participants to some of the principles of participation.

Instructions box – Knives and Forks

  • Participants sit in a circle.

  • Tell everyone that the rules of the game will be explained only once, so that they need to listen carefully.

  • Explain that you want everybody to concentrate on how they feel during the game.

  • The participants are required to pass on the knife and fork, either crossed or uncrossed, to the person sitting next to them. As they do so they should tell the whole group whether the knife and fork are “crossed” or “uncrossed”. The facilitator will then tell them whether they are right o not.

  • Do not give any more instructions, even if there are more questions.

  • The facilitator starts the whole activity. The secret rule is that announcing “crossed” or “uncrossed” does not depend on the position of the knife and the fork, but on the position of the speaker’s legs – whether they are crossed or not. The knife and fork can be positioned in any way a participant likes, but they will be correct only if their announcement matches the position of their legs.

  • After about 10 minutes, stop the game, as this is normally enough time for the participants to experience a whole range of emotions.

  • Ask those who have not discovered the secret rule how they are feeling. Write down their responses on a flipchart.

  • Ask those who have discovered the secret rule how they are feeling. Write down their answers.

  • Ask somebody from the group to explain the secret rule to the rest of the group.

  • Ask the participants who discovered the secret rule why they did not reveal it to the others (they very rarely do so).

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Evaluation form

  1. Ask the participants what link they see between their experiences during this exercise (and the things they experienced during this exercise) and participation. Which aspects of participation have been tackled in this exercise?

  2. Divide the participants so as to work in small discussion groups (two or four groups). Each of them should be focusing on the following sets of questions:

Set A

  • When I am disempowered, I feel …

  • Towards those who disempower me I feel …

  • Examples are …

  • We are unable to participate when …

 

Set B

  • When I am empowered, I feel …

  • Towards those who empower me I feel …

  • Examples are …

  • We are able to participate when …

3 . If there are more than two groups, ask the groups working on Set A to get together and the groups working on Set B to get together. They should share ideas and record them on a flipchart.

4 . Ask the groups to present the results of their work.

5 . Initiate a plenary discussion on the advantages of participation and disadvantages of non-participation. Tips for the facilitator – the one person with whom you share the secret rule before the game begins should be sitting opposite you in the circle, so that both of you can check if participants’ legs are crossed or not.

 
Activity 3 Who's behind me.jpg

For whom : 10 – 13 years old

Duration : 30 minutes

No. of participants : 10 – 12 participants

Place : Classroom / outdoor space

Characteristic : Children guess the person pictured on their back by the responses of others

Materials : 25 pictures mounted on cardboard, pins or sticky tape, paper and pens, flipchart and marker

Goal : To discuss the impact of stereotypes and labelling on individuals and groups of people; 

Pedagogical appeal : The children can develop and carry out a survey of how other people, children and/or adults, in their community respond to the same pictures. 

 Instructions box – Who's behind me ?

Each of you 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 and even unkind.

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 child without letting him or her see it. Give each child paper and pencil to record the words used.

Start the activity, with the children mingling and giving each other words of description. After about ten minutes, bring the group together.

Starting with picture number one, ask each child to guess the identity of the person in the picture based on how others have responded. Ask each child to explain their guess. Then ask each child in turn what words were said about the picture and write these words next to the number of the picture.

After each child has guessed, take off the picture and show it to the group. Discuss each picture briefly:

  • Where do you think the person in the picture is?

  • What is the person doing?

  • Do you see this person enjoying any human rights?

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Evaluation form

Debrief the activity by asking questions such as these:

Was it difficult to find the right words to describe what people say about people like the one in different pictures?

How did you feel about saying some harsh or unfair words about the person in the picture?

Was it difficult to guess your picture’s identity, based on what people said?

How did you feel about hearing what people said about the person you represented?

Were your ideas about the people represented in the different pictures different from the comments you received?

Were some people unable to guess their photos? Why do you think they found it difficult?

 

Discuss the list of descriptive words and make a link to human rights. Making sure you use the words labelling and stereotyping, and ask questions about the list such as these:

  • Do you think most people in this community have ever met people like this?

  • How do you think they form ideas about people like this? Do they ever change their minds?

  • Does anything ever change your mind about a person?

  • Why are labels and stereotyping unfair?

  • How could labels and stereotyping lead to violations of human rights?

  • What do these responses suggest about the way different people see others? Should people all see things the same way?

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Observe that we get many of our ideas about people we don’t know from the media (e.g. radio, television). Discuss the role of the media in stereotyping by asking question such as these:

  • How do the media present people from other cultures and countries?

  • When they live in their country of origin? When they live in your country?

  • How can the media increase labelling and stereotyping?

 
Activity 4 - Puppets tell the story.jpg

For whom : 8 – 13 years old

Duration : 120 minutes

No. of participants : 8 – 24 participants

Place : Classroom / outdoor space

Characteristic : General human rights

Materials : Puppets, dolls or materials for making puppets, puppet theatre or a piece of material to make a stage

Goal : To recognize human rights themes in familiar stories; To practice finding solutions for human rights violations; To have fun and work together

Pedagogical appeal : Children create a puppet show based on a familiar story with a human rights violation; the group creates a new conclusion that responds to the violation.

 Instructions box – Puppets tell the story

Arouse the children’s interest by asking them to think of characters from stories they know who have experienced injustice or unfairness. Help them recognize that these personalities and stories often reflect a somewhat exaggerated version of real-life situations. Suggest some sources for stories (e.g. a folk or fairy tale, a scene from a children’s book, an episode from the media, such as TV or films).

After the children have given several suggestions, divide them into small groups of three or four. Ask each person in the group to suggest a story they know, retelling it if others don’t know it. Encourage the group to name the right(s) violated when each story has finished.

When they have had time to tell their stories together, ask them to select one story to present to the group as a puppet show. Explain that they have thirty minutes to create their puppets and rehearse their presentation. Every child in the group should have at least one role in the presentation. Demonstrate how to construct the puppet, depending on the method you have chosen.

Invite each group in turn to present their puppet show. When they reach the point where a human rights violation happens, you or the presenters should shout, “Freeze!”

The action stops and children discuss:

  • What human right is being violated?

  • How can we change the action to respond to the violation and protect the character(s)?

  • Ask the presenting group to improvise the ending of their play using one or more of the endings recommended in the discussion.

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Evaluation form

Debrief the activity by asking questions such as these of each group:

  • How do you feel about your play?

  • How did your group choose this story to perform?

  • How did your group work together as a team?

  • What method did you use to decide on a story? To assign roles?

  • How did you feel while playing your role?

 

Relate the activity to human rights by asking question such as these:

  • Have you ever experienced or observed situations like those in the presentation?

  • What is the link between these situations and human rights? Were any rights violated? Were any rights defended or enjoyed?

  • Was the rights violation(s) in the presentation solved? How? Were there other possible ways of solving the problems?

  • What could you do in real life to address a problem like this?

 
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For whom : 7 – 10 years old

Duration : 45 minutes

No. of participants : 4 - 24 participants

Place : Classroom / outdoor space

Characteristic : Family and alternative care, Participation

Materials : 1 x green, yellow and orange card for each child

Goal : To reflect on decision making processes in families; To discuss child participation in family life; To introduce the concept of evolving capacities

Pedagogical appeal : To help the children to develop strategy with their parent/s about how each member of the family can participate further in family life.

 Instructions box – Who should decide?

Ask the group to reflect on what they’re wearing and ask them to discuss with a person sitting next to them who decided what they would wear that day. Was it their parent/s? Was it themselves? Was it a joint decision made by the parent/s and child together? Explain that this activity is about making decisions.

Give a set of cards to each child (green, yellow and orange). Explain that you will read out a list of decisions that should be made, and after each question you will ask the group to think about who should make the decision. If the child thinks that the parent/s should make the decision, then they should hold up a green card. If they think the child should make the decision, then they should hold up a yellow card. If they think the child and the parent/s should make the decision, then they should hold up an orange card.

Read out the questions one by one and after each question wait until everyone in the group has held up their card. Encourage the children to look around at the responses from the rest of the group after each question. Some children in the group will probably make comments, but discourage discussion at this point: hold discussion until the debriefing.

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Evaluation form

Debrief the activity by asking questions such as these:

  • How did you like this activity?

  • Was it difficult to respond to some of the questions? Why?

  • Which ones were easier to respond to and which ones were more difficult? Why?

  • Why did some people have different answers?

  • Is there a right answer or a wrong answer to the questions?

  • Does the age of child make a difference in the role they should have in making decisions concerning themselves? Why or why not?

Introduce the phrase ‘evolving capacities’ and explain that it means that children have more decision-making opportunities and responsibilities in personal matters as they mature. For older children, you can refer specifically to Article 5 and 14 of the CRC and discuss this concept further. Ask questions such as these about the children’s own role in decision making:

  • Are you involved in making decisions in your family? Which decisions are they?

  • Are there some things that you can make a decision about yourself? What decisions are they?

  • Are there some things that you need help and guidance from your parent/s to make decisions about? What things are they?

  • What are some ways you can ask for more guidance from your parent/s?

  • Is it important for you and your parent/s to participate in your family life? Why or why not?

  • What are some ways you can participate more in your family life?


Do you like the way decisions are made in your family? Are there some decisions you would like to participate in that you do not? What are some things you could do to have a greater role in decision making?

Relate the activity to human rights by asking questions such as these:

  • Why do you think some human rights concern children and their families?

  • Why do you think participation in decisions that concern them is one of every child’s human rights?

  • Who else makes decisions about children’s lives besides themselves and their parents? Why is this important?

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Activity 6 - Modern Fairy Tale.jpg

For whom : 8 – 13 years old

Duration : 60 minutes

No. of participants : 5 – 15 participants

Place : Classroom / outdoor space

Characteristic : Discrimination, Education and leisure, violence

Materials : Wooden stick, copies of drawing sequence provided as handout, copies of the child-friendly CRC

Goal : To introduce the issue of child labour and modern-day slavery; To promote active listening; For older children: To introduce the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

Pedagogical appeal : The children can find out what their country’s laws are to protect against child labour.  The children can design and conduct a survey to find out how much and what kinds of work children do at home.

 Instructions box – Modern Fairy Tale

Ask the children to gather in a circle to hear a story in a special way. Try to create a mysterious atmosphere. Show them the wooden stick and explain that this is ‘talking stick’: only the person holding it may speak. When they have spoken, they should pass on the stick to another person.

Lay the pictures out so that the children can see all of them and explain that together they will create a story about a girl named Siwa based on these pictures. Then distribute the pictures, one to each child or pair of children. Explain that this picture represents the part of the story which that child or pair of children will tell. Give the children time to think about what their pictures represent and discuss it together if they are working with a partner.

Be the first one to hold the stick and say a little to demonstrate how the story will be told. Then pass the stick to the child who will start the story. Explain that the person who wants to speak next should hold up their picture; if there are several who want to speak, the speaker will decide who gets the talking stick next.

When the story has come to an end, ask the children if they would like to hear the real story behind these pictures. Tell or read the story of Siwa. Siwa’s story is based on a real-life case settled in the European Court of Human Rights (Siliadin v. France, No. 73316/01).

Evaluation form

Debrief the activity by asking questions such as these:

  • What did you base your story? Did the pictures remind you of something you have experienced or heard about?

  • Was your story based on the pictures close to the true story?

  • What did you think of Siwa’s story? How did you feel?

  • Do you have any questions about Siwa’s story?


Discuss child labour and forms of modern-day slavery by asking questions such as these:

  • What is a slave?

  • In what ways was Siwa’s situation like slavery?

  • Do you think that Siwa’s story could happen in your country? Do you know of any such incidents?

  • Are there still slaves in the world today?


Give children copies of the child-friendly CRC, UDHR or ECHR. Relate Siwa’s story to human rights:

  • What happens to children who are forced to work?

  • How does this affect their human rights? Can you name any of Siwa’s rights in the CRC that were violated?

  • How does the CRC protect children?

  • Do other human rights documents also offer protection to children?

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Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a girl called Siwa. She lived in a very poor country. She lived with her uncle because her parents had died when she was a child.

When she grew older, Siwa realised that the world was much bigger than just her country and that there were other interesting places to visit as well. But like most people in her country, Siwa was poor and didn’t have the money to travel.

One day, however, her uncle came up with a plan. He suggested sending Siwa to a rich country to live with Mrs X, an acquaintance of his. Siwa was excited by the idea of travelling and was eager to go. The uncle agreed with Mrs X that she would buy Siwa a plane ticket to her country and that Siwa would live at her house and help the family with the housework until she had earned the price of her plane ticket. So Siwa boarded a plane and flew to this rich country. She was looking forward to all the new things she would be experiencing There, Mrs. X had promised to send her to school and to take care of her legal papers so that she could travel freely and explore this new country.

However, once Siwa arrived at Mrs. X’s house, things started to go wrong. Mrs. X was not as friendly as the girl had imagined. She expected Siwa to take care of her children and do all the housework by herself. When Siwa asked about school, Mrs. X said that it could wait.

After a while Mrs. X told Siwa that she was going to live with Mrs. Y for a while. Siwa hoped that now she could finally start going to school and enjoying her stay in this new country. Sadly, however, Mrs. Y was worse than Mrs. X. Life became even harder for Siwa. Now she had to start work early in the morning and could not go to bed until late at night. And even then she couldn’t get a good night’s sleep as she was sleeping on the floor in the children’s room and had to take care of the baby, who woke up crying several times during the night. Besides cleaning, cooking and caring for the children, she was not even allowed to leave the house to walk around in the city. Life was miserable. Siwa regretted ever leaving Africa.

One morning Siwa managed to get permission to go to religious services. But instead of going there, she gathered her courage and knocked on the door of a neighbour’s house. She asked the young couple living there for help and told her story. The couple was shocked. They could not imagine someone being treated like a slave in modern times. Siwa’s story sounded like an old fairytale, except that in reality there was no fairy to help her, so she had to find a way to help herself.

The couple took Siwa into their house and reported her case to the police. When the police investigated, they charged Mrs. X and Mrs. Y. However, Siwa was not satisfied with having these individuals punished. She wanted to make sure that no other child like her would ever have to face a similar situation. Therefore, with her lawyer’s help, she filed a case in the European Court of Human Rights, asking the country where Mrs. X lived to change its laws to protect children from this kind of slavery. The Court agreed with Siwa and that country was forced to take care to prevent similar incidents of forced work in the future. Finally, Siwa was happy. She had not only managed to escape from the imprisonment in Mrs. Y’s house, but she had also made sure that no other child in that country would have to experience what she did.

Source: Adapted from the European Court of Human Rights case Siliadin v. France, No. 73316/01.

 
Activity 7 M2.jpg

For whom : 8 – 13 years old

Duration : 30 - 40 minutes

No. of participants : 6 -12 participants

Place : Classroom / outdoor space

Characteristic : General human rights, Participation

Materials : Flipchart and pens, string or chalk, paper and markers

Goal : To deepen understanding of participation; To develop listening skills; To develop discussion and argumentation skills

Pedagogical appeal : Encourage the children to find ways of participation

 Instructions box – Where do you stand?

Announce to the children that you are interested in their opinion on some important questions. Explain that you will read a statement and individually they have to decide whether they agree or disagree with it and then stand in the part of the room where they see the relevant poster. The goal will be to convince other children to change their opinion and position.

No-one can speak until everyone takes a position.

The more strongly you agree or disagree with the statement, the further away from the centre you will stand.

No-one can stay on the middle line, but if you cannot decide or feel confused about a question, you can stay towards the middle on one side or the other.

Show the children the first statement and read it aloud. Then ask them to decide what they think and to take a position.

Wait until everyone has taken a position. Then ask individuals from both positions why they stood on the different sides. Let them discuss their views. Encourage many different children to express an opinion.

After allowing a reasonable time for discussion, invite any child who wishes to change positions. If several do, ask them what argument made them change their minds. Continue this process for all the statements.

Evaluation form

  • Debrief the activity by asking questions such as these:

  • How did you like this exercise?

  • Was it difficult to take a position in some cases? Which ones?

  • Did you ever change your position? What made you do so?

  • Were there some statements which were more complicated than others?

  • Are there some statements you are still uncertain about?

  • Would you like to discuss some issues further?

  • Did you learn something new from this activity? If so, what?

 

Relate the activity to the right to participation by asking questions such as these:

  • Did you see any connection among these questions?

  • Are you able to participate in decision making in your family? Your class or school? Your community? Any other situation in your life?

  • Point out that participation is an important right of every child, and read them Article 12 of the CRC. Can you imagine some new areas in which you could to participate?

  • Why do you think the right to participation is important for children?

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Activity 8 - Bullying Scene.jpg

For whom : 7 – 13 years old

Duration : 60 minutes

No. of participants : 5 - 20 participants

Place : Classroom / outdoor space

Characteristic : Children discuss bullying and then position themselves to show how they would respond to different bullying scenarios.

Materials : A space that allows the children to sit in circle, coloured paper, markers, scissors

Goal : To deepen understanding of different kinds of bullying; To identify strategies, people and organisations that can support children being bullied

 Instructions box – Bullying Scene

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 child 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, school administrator, police, counsellor, sibling). Ask children to explain the supporters they have named.

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.

Each corner of the room is numbered. After you hear the situation and the responses, go to the corner that represents what you think you would do in this situation.

Read out the bullying situation and give the children time to choose their response and go to the corresponding corner of the room. Once the children have taken a position, ask a few in each position why they chose that response and some of its advantages and disadvantages. Allow those children who chose the open corner to explain how they would respond.

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Evaluation form

After responding to five or six bullying scenes, debrief the activity by asking question such as these:

  • How did you feel about the activity?

  • Were some of the scenes difficult to respond to? Which ones and why?

  • Can you relate to any of the bullying scenes?

  • 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?

  • What should you do if you’re being bullied and the person you turn to for help and support doesn’t do anything about it?

  • Is some bullying more often accepted by children and adults? Why or why not?

  • Who is responsible to help and support children when they are bullied?

  • Can adults experience bullying too? Give some examples.

  • Who is responsible to help adults when they are bullied?

  • What can be done to help people who bully change their behaviour?

  • What happens if no one stops people who bully? To the bully? To the community?

 

Relate the activity to human rights by asking questions such as these:

  • Does anyone have the right to bully anyone else? Why or why not?

  • Which human rights can be violated when someone is being bullied?

  • How does ending bullying improve the human rights environment for everyone?

 

At the end of the debriefing, ask the children to look back at their ‘hands of support’ and add any other person or organisation they can think of whom they could turn to for support when being bullied. Display the ‘hands of support’ somewhere in the room so that the children can refer to them in the future.

 
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For whom : 8 – 13 years old

Duration : 30 minutes

No. of participants : 4 - 24 participants

Place : Classroom / outdoor space

Characteristic : Children compete for possession of an orange and discuss how to resolve conflicts

Materials : One orange

Goal : To discuss the need for communication in conflict situations; To reflect on strategies for conflict resolution

Pedagogical appeal : Developing ideas about how to deal with conflict within the group

 Instructions box – The battle for the Orange

Explain that the group is going to play ‘the Orange Game’. Divide the children into two groups. Ask Group A to go outside and wait for you. Tell Group B that in this activity their goal is to get the orange because they need its juice to make orange juice.

Go outside and tell Group A that their goal in this activity is to get the orange because they need the peel of the orange to make an orange cake.

Bring both groups together inside and ask each group to sit in a line facing each other.

Tell the groups that they have three minutes to get what they need. Emphasise that they should not use violence to get what they want. Then place one orange between the two groups and say, “Go”.

Usually someone will take the orange and one group will have it and how the groups deal with the situation will be a surprise. Sometimes groups will try to negotiate to divide the orange in half. At other times they will not negotiate at all. Sometimes the groups will communicate further and realize that they both need different parts of the orange; someone from one of the groups will peel the orange, taking the part they need. Do not interfere.

After three minutes say, “Stop” or “Time’s up”.

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Evaluation form : Debrief the activity by asking question such as these:

  • Did your group get what it wanted before the three minutes were up?

  • What was your group’s goal?

  • What was the outcome of the conflict over the orange?

  • What did you do to achieve this outcome?

  • Why is it important for people to communicate in order to resolve conflicts?

  • Do people always communicate with each other when they are in a conflict? Why or why not?

  • Do people always want the same thing in a conflict?

  • Have you ever experienced similar situations? What was the outcome?

 

Relate the activity to human rights by asking a question such as this:

  • What are some of the human rights that are violated in a conflict?

 
Activity 10 - From bystander to helper.jpg

For whom : 7 – 13 years old

Duration : 60 minutes

No. of participants : 4 - 24 participants

Place : Classroom / outdoor space

Characteristic : Children tell stories about times when they have been victim, abuser, bystander, or helpers in human rights situations

Materials : Chart paper and markers or blackboard and chalk

Goal : To clarify that everyone meets violence in life in many ways; To emphasize the responsibility to respect and defend each other; To reflect on what it means to be a ‘helper’

 Instructions box – From bystander to helper

Remind the children that violence and abuse, not only physical but also verbal and emotional, is a human rights violation. Ask for examples of different kinds of violence and abuse.

Divide the children into small groups of three or four. Explain the activity, making sure the children understand each category clearly.

Each partner will talk about different observations of violence and abuse:

  • when you saw someone being hurt or treated unjustly;

  • when you participated in hurting someone else or treated them unjustly;

  • when you saw someone being hurt or treated unjustly and no-one helped them;

  • when you saw someone help a person who was being hurt or treated unjustly.

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Ask them to give examples in each category, one at time. Make sure that no-one will be punished for speaking up.

You will have 15 minutes for this part of the activity. Begin by sitting quietly for a few moments and thinking about what you want to say.

Note: If the children can read, give each pair a piece of paper divided into four squares with four situations to help guide their discussions.

Bring the children back into one group to discuss their observations. First, ask for some of the examples of people being hurt or abused, without distinguishing those observed and those in which children participated. List these as ‘violations’ on a chart such as the one below.

Then ask for examples in the ‘Helper’ category.

Finally, ask for examples in the ‘Bystander’ category. Ask, “What could someone has done in some of these situations to be a helper, not a bystander?” Record their responses on the chart.

Variation: Use the list of violence and abuse generated in Step 3 and ask how someone could have helped. Record their responses.

Evaluation form : Read aloud the list of suggested helpful actions listed in Step 5 of the activity. Discuss how people can become helpers to protect human rights, asking questions such as these:

  • Which of the suggested actions would be hard to do? Which ones would be easier?

  • Are there any actions on the list that you think you could take?

  • What stops people from becoming helpers?

  • If more people became helpers rather than bystanders, could the human rights situation really be improved?


Discuss how we can help each other, asking questions such as these:

  • What qualities and understanding does a person need to be a ‘helper’, i.e. take action for human rights?

  • What can we do to support people taking action for human rights?

  • How can we encourage people in our group to become ‘helpers’?


Conclude by acknowledging that any abuse or violence towards children, including those children who commit violence against each other, is a human rights violation. These occur in every culture and every part of the world. Emphasize that learning about human rights also involves learning how to take action to protect each other’s rights. We cannot end all violence and abuse, but we can help each other in our own communities.

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