Activity pack for schools - Workshops and Role Plays
WORKSHOPS AND ROLE
tried and trusted workshops and role-plays which are used by a wide variety of
trainers and teachers. They aim to provide a means for participants to explore
their own identities as well as those of others and to try and empathise with
minority ethnic groups, including Irish Travellers and refugees and asylum
In section 4
of this activity pack there are a number of resource materials, including a
glossary of terms and useful websites. These can be used as handouts or to
provide further background for the facilitator.
There are five
detailed workshops and role plays provided in this activity pack,
We are all different - we
are all equal
Objective - to help young people
recognise and appreciate some ways in which they themselves are different from
other people in their group, and to appreciate how others are different from
Age group - all
Materials - Each person taking part
will need a potato and a recent photograph of themselves that they are proud of.
The leader will need to provide sticky labels to write on.
Minimum time needed - 30
to look closely at their potato, to become aware of all its lumps and bumps, its
shape and its size.
Now put all
the potatoes in a large bag mix them up and pour out onto the floor. Ask
everyone to try and identify his or her own potato.
follow the game on how each potato, even through very different in it own way,
still remained a potato inside.
Ask each participant to think about themselves. In what way are
they proud to be different from everyone else in the group.
to think about:
- Physical appearance,
skills, talent, personality
- Ways in which their likes
and dislikes differ from everyone else in the group
Invite them to
write down two statements relating to (a) and (b) on a sticky badge.
statements can be read out and directly placed with their photograph on a
participants can swap badges, mix them all up and then try to match the
statements to the photograph on the wall (there may be clues in the
smaller group to the task of using the badges to list all of the abilities,
talents, attributes, experiences and skills that are present in the
group then works on a giant poster or display to celebrate how differences
enrich the whole group.
- Invite everybody to name
a way in which they admire differences expressed by other people present.
- What way do they want
others to regard their difference?
- What attitude does the
group want to have to other people's differences?
- What do we pick on people
who are different?
- (Suggest fear, ignorance,
The Umbrella Game
Objective - To develop ownership of
one's own identity, and appreciation of difference within the group. To explore
how subgroups develop in society.
Materials - Several umbrellas. If the
use of real umbrellas is impractical, draw them on poster sheets. Post-its
(large). Marker pens.
Age - 7+
Minimum time needed - 30
- Divide the participants
into about four groups. Give each group an umbrella, some Post-its and a
- In the groups the members
are asked to find as many things in common that are shared by every member of
the small group. These are written on Post-its and stuck to the group umbrella
- This will also reveal
some things that are not held in common, and that the persons are proud of.
Write these also on post-its and the person sticks them on their clothes.
These are worn as badges of which the person is proud (not 'labels')
PREJUDICE = LABEL
- After some time bring the
groups together and ask them to see if they can form one group. Of the things
already named, which do they all have in common? The participants stick them
to a single communal umbrella
- Some individuals wearing
badges may meet others with a similar badge and form a sub-group while
continuing to be part of the full group
Discussion - learning to focus on
- Invite the
participants to discuss the differences that they, as individuals, felt proud
- Explore the
feelings of exclusion and inclusion the group experiences during the
- Discuss how
the participants may have had to opt in or out to belong to a particular group;
things they may have had to "give up" to belong or in order for others to
- What were
their attitudes to outsiders; were differences cherished and
- Focus on the
differences between self-adopted badges people are proud to wear, and labels
people might not feel comfortable with, being imposed on them by
- Encourage the
participants to consider their experiences in smaller umbrella
- Encourage the
group to think about how groups become excluded and marginalised in wider
- To comprehend the reality
faced by asylum seekers and refugees
- To understand the
difference between a 'refugee' and an 'asylum seeker'
- To promote empathy
towards asylum seekers and refugees
- To understand some of the
legal issues related to asylum
- To introduce discussion
about the legal, social, cultural and economic situation of asylum seekers and
- Flip chart, sheets of
papers, pens and markers
- Stickers with different
professions: doctor, electrician, etc.
- Handout (see end of role
Time - 30-60 minutes
- Can be undertaken with up
to 15 people
- Give each person a
profession on previously prepared sticker (see materials)
- You can change the names
of towns etc to make it more appropriate to where you live
The story line
One day, a group of extremists called 'The Extremist Party'
conclude that they are not satisfied with the way the country is being run, so
they decide to take over the country. They eventually succeed and become the
leaders of the country. In order to prevent future opposition, The Extremist
party begins to arrest and persecute members of the former leading political party
'The Welcome Party'
participants to imagine that they are all well-known active members of the
leading political party 'The Welcome Party'.
- A sympathetic member of the Welcome Party calls each of the active members
and informs them that he/she will come to collect them with a truck in front of
their house in 5 minutes. Unfortunately, they can only bring 7 items with them
in a bag.
- Ask the group to write their
7 items on a piece of paper.
- Then, tell them that the
truck is in front of their house and that they have to go now. Unfortunately,
they have to leave out one item each, as the truck is overloaded.
- They decide to go to Newcastle because Belfast is no longer safe.
- Unfortunately The Extremist
party's militias are approaching Newcastle.
- The Welcome party members have to take a boat to leave the country, and also
have to give one item each to the captain.
- They sail for 3 weeks. All
food and beverages have been consumed (these should be deleted from their items
in their bag)
- They arrive at Port Harcourt
in Nigeria, but cannot stay because The Extremist Party has good diplomatic
relations with Nigeria.
- They take a plane and end up
in Kinshasa, in Zaire.
- You (the facilitator) now
tell them that you are an immigration officer.
- Invite the participants to
stand up in line and justify to you why they are seeking asylum and what they
have brought with them to prove that they are telling the truth.
- Question them, sometimes
speaking in a foreign language, accuse them of being just interested in seeking
a better life or working illegally.
- Deny entry to all in the
line except one or two.
- Invite participants to
discuss their impressions about this experience.
- Do not forget to de-role
so that participants do not get stuck in their role.
- Distribute the handouts.
- Write the findings on the flipchart.
- Bring it back to the
situation in Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland:
- How have their
difficulties will they face?
- How is their
host country supporting them?
- What is
missing from their previous life?
- How are they
learning the language?
- Can they work
and in what kind of job?
- Are they
having an easy time?
- What have they
- What are the
Notes for the
- It is always recommended
to let the participants uncover the messages by themselves.
- Seeking asylum has
nothing to do with charity. One does not necessarily need to be poor to be a
refugee. It is a basic human right to seek protection, when one's life is in
danger or when one is being persecuted for the reasons stated in the 1951
Geneva Convention: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular
social group or political opinion.
- To examine the
role of the media and racism.
- To look at the
dangers of labelling people, even when it is unintentional.
- To consider
the impact of inadequate media reporting.
The media has
an important role to play in relation to racism. It can play a major part in
highlighting racism as a problem in our society and report on how government and
non-government organisations are seeking to tackle racism and promote a more
standard of reporting has sometimes been very inconsistent in relation to the
issues of racism and cultural diversity in our society, a fact recognised by
those involved in working in the media industry such as the National Union of
Journalists which has been active in promoting good practice.
Look at the
way media portrays one or all of the following:
- Black and
minority ethnic groups
- Refugees and
Materials - Ask participants to collect newspaper coverage
about groups such as Travellers or refugees and asylum seekers from a range of
different papers over a period of time. Note: Some public libraries keep press
cuttings, sometimes referenced for easy access. For background information
related see Racial Equality bulletin No. 2 - Press reporting on minority
ethnic issues and racism in Northern Ireland published by the Equality
Commission and in regard to the South, see contributions related to the media in
Toward the World Conference on Racism Report on
http://homepage.eircom.net~racismcteeand the publications indicated in the resource
section (4) of this pack.
Age group - 15+
Time - 30 - 45 minutes
- Divide people into small groups of 4 or five.
- Appoint one person to report back to the main group or ask the
group to select a person themselves. They will report back after 20 minutes.
- Circulate photocopies of the news cuttings to each group that
you have collected or which you have asked participants to have collected in
- Ask each group to decide what the story is about.
- What kind of message is sent out by the headline of the
- What kinds of messages are being sent out by the content of the
- Is there emotive language in the article or
SURVEY OF ATTITUDES
To provide participants with the opportunity to research and
assess attitudes to Travellers in the community. To develop skills around survey
15 and upward
- Clarify the questions to be asked in the survey
Formulate a draft questionnaire
- Test the questionnaire out on a sample group before you use
- Work with a small number of questions to make the collation of
Who should be interviewed?
Decide on a specific target, eg fellow students; friends
Give some thought to how many people you want to interview
How do you want to ask questions?
Look at the pros and cons of using a questionnaire.
Questionnaires are quick and relatively easily administered but the answers may
not give the full picture. Other methods of asking questions are through
structured interviews. This method requires significantly more skills and it is
more difficult to analyse the results.
What do you intend to do with the information?
Participants should be prepared to put in some time into a
piece of work like this, including background reading. The information derived
from the completed questionnaires should be presented. A short report and
description of the findings should be prepared, with a number of conclusions and
recommendations. These should be informed by a discussion involving the
teacher/youth worker and the participants. The results could be drawn together
as part of a class newsletter.
- Who will prepare the questionnaire?
- Who will conduct the questionnaire?
- When will it be done?
- What is the date for questionnaires to be returned?
- Who will collate the information (compile the responses to the
- Who will prepare the presentation of the information (consider
Do you agree or disagree with the following
- Everyone should have the right to a decent
standard of accommodation.
- Travellers should have a right to a permanent,
serviced halting site in a convenient location.
- Everyone has the right to have some choice
about where they should live.
- It would be better for all Travellers to live
in houses and not on halting sites.
- Travellers are welcome in my community.
- Travellers experience discrimination.
- We have a lot to learn from Travellers.
Page 1 | Page 3 | Lá Idirnáisiúnta i gCoinne Ciníochais
Main Page |
About Us |
Site Map |