- Do I have the space and materials to do this activity?
- Is this group prepared to discuss challenging topics?
- How can we ensure respect throughout the activity? Ground rules?
- These questions should be challenging and thought provoking – Prepare several questions/statements that have no single answer, such as:
- People should be able to live in whatever country they want
- Everyone in the world has the same rights
- It is worse having to leave your home because of war, than for any other reason
- If I were living in danger, I’d want others to help me and my family
- Each country should look after its own people
- If you go to live in another country, you should learn the language
- Most people prefer to stay in their own countries than go somewhere else to live
- Rich countries should offer refuge to more people than poor countries
- Have everyone stand in the middle of the room. Mark the left-hand side of the room as ‘YES’, the right-hand side as ‘NO’, and the middle as ‘I’M NOT SURE’. Remember that everyone is entitled to their own views! Have one person read out a statement and ask everyone to move to the place in the room that represents their answer or initial reaction to the statement.
- Remember, it is ok to change your opinion on things as you think about a topic or learn more about it. Allow people to move around as the discussions take place in the event that they change their mind.
- How did this activity make you feel?
- Was it scary to express an opinion on difficult topics?
- Did any discussions change your mind?
- Paper with ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ and ‘I’m not sure,‘
- Something to attach the papers to the wall – tape, sticky tack, etc.
Keep it Simple
- Keep these questions simpler. Ask questions like, is it wrong to steal? Would you want to move to a new country tomorrow? While still thought provoking, these might be simpler concepts for people to wrap their minds around.
Take it Further
Take this further by continuing the conversation beyond the meeting. Ask youth to do research on a particular topic from the discussion and bring facts to the next meeting with their discoveries. This may also fall in line with the Human Social Issue Library activity to take this even further.