Activities with young migrants
Types of activities
Energizers: are used to raise energy among the participants, to set the mood or create an atmosphere, and wake people up before an activity. It can also be used to introduce a topic in an easy and informal way.
Individual exercises: An individual exercise is exercised individually, and is meant to make the individual participant to take on a self-critical, questioning and curious attitude to learn by discovering ourselves.
Group discussion: can be good to let the participants speak their mind, but also to make the participants think about the “issue” in a different way and from another point of view.
Simulation games: are a very powerful means of working with young people especially in an intercultural perspective to confront and address prejudices and stereotypes of other cultures.
Role plays: are powerful means for examining conflict situations because it makes the participants the agents of the given circumstance and gives them the chance to realize how they would act had they been given the right to intervene.
Evaluation: the action in which one collects information about the results of an action and set this against predetermined criteria in order to judge the value of the results. The evaluation allows the facilitator to maintain, change or discard points and/or activities from the plan.
Purpose: We all know time is relative – but what does it really mean? Participants live through their own minute of time and compare the results.
|Time||Anything up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds|
|Resources needed||Watch for the facilitator
If there is a clock in the room should be covered or removed
|Activity description||The participants have to hide any visible watches they have.
Then everybody has to sit down on their chairs and with their eyes closed
Then the facilitator asks everyone to stand up and close their eyes. On the command “GO!”, each person is to count up to 60 seconds and sit down when they have finished. It is important to stress that this exercise can only work if everyone is quiet during the whole of it. Once people have sat down they can open their eyes, but not before.
|Reflection Time||The exercise allows for opening up the discussion about time perception in different cultures and even among homogeneous groups.|
|Comments & helpful tips||Even within culturally homogenous groups, this energizer can produce fairly spectacular results. Be careful not to laugh at people who are last, they might just be having a very “slow” day. This activity can be very effective if the participants know each other.|
Passport of the soul
Purpose: To get to know each other and to create a good atmosphere within the group
|Resources needed||Paper, Pen, Colour|
|Activity description||In couples, the participants have to make interviews about some specific topics: for example, name, age, country, hobby, and they have to draw the face of the other person. After that, alternately, each person has to introduce the other participant|
|Comments & helpful tips||This activity was tested during different non formal activities and this is very useful for knowing each other especially for the first time in which the group of people don’t know each other|
Type: Individual exercise
Purpose: To get to understand that how we see ourselves is not necessarily the way others perceive us: an exercise about the (changing) faces of our identity
|Time||Around 30 minutes personal, 30 minutes exchange|
|Resources needed||Sheet of paper and a pen for each person
Different coloured pens and/or pencils
|Reflection Time||The sharing should probably remain in the small groups, but some general remarks can be brought back to plenary, or participants can give feedback on what they learn from the exercise to the wider group.
Here are some more questions you could ask: How do we work with our own and others’ perception of ourselves? How far is an identity a “dynamic concept” and what are relevant factors influencing changes? What impacts in this group on my identity and how are they linked?
|Comments & helpful tips||“Identity” is a vital aspect of intercultural learning, but not easy to deal with. Respect for personal differences and limits is essential, feedback given has to be extremely careful. It
is better to share one’s own histories if possible instead of interpreting the ones of others. If you want you can finish this activity with showing a short movie on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YAjBFAT1jw) and had a brainstorm about identity.
Describe the animal
Purpose: To get to know each other. Its purpose is to learn about and see the impact of non-verbal communication
|Group size||5-50 people|
|Resources needed||Nothing in particular|
|Comments & helpful tips||After this activity youth workers could introduce the “non-verbal communication” topic. Non-verbal communication is different from person to person and especially from one culture to another. As there are differences in meanings of non-verbal communication, miscommunication can occur when inter-cultural people communicate. People can offend others without meaning to due to their cultural differences in non-verbal communication.|
Where do I stand?
Type: Group discussion
Purpose: Reflecting and understanding one’s own position on ambiguous issues and comparing them with those of other participants.
Brainstorming: Before this activity is performed it may be useful to ask participants to answer in 3 words the question “WHO IS THE OTHER?”
|Group size||At least 5, and at the maximum 10 participants to work together|
|Resources needed||Enough room
Flipchart papers with the 10-15 statements, each on different sheet (or power- point presentation with the different statements)
Two signs “Yes” and “No” in the opposite corners of the room
|Reflection Time||It might be good to follow up with questions like: why was it so difficult to find common ground on some questions? Which questions were more ambiguous and which ones were
relatively easy to decide on? What are the topics you would like to go more deep into?
|Comments & helpful tips||Statement Examples:
We are all determined by our culture
Stuck in the back
Purpose: To demonstrate the different prejudices and stereotypes existing towards various cultures and identify the main reasons for the latter.
|Resources needed||Paper, tape, pens|
|Reflection Time||This activity not only aims for the participants to share the information about their culture but it also aims to see that the participants do not represent 100% the existing stereotypes of their own culture.|
Type: Simulation game
Purpose: To explore cultural differences and emotions/behaviours when meeting differences; to find constructive ways of dealing with/preventing conflicts aroused from differences.
|Group size||20-30 people|
|Time||1 hour and 30 minutes|
|Reflection Time||Sharing and discussion (whole group): 30 min. Everybody should participate: how did you feel during the exercise? Your main impressions, main insights? What do you think are the characteristics of the other cultures? Can you see the links between this simulation and reality? What can we learn from this simulation? Discussion, comments.|
The Communication Tree
Type: Evaluation Purpose: To show quickly and clearly where consensus exists and where the opinions are diverse in the group, to help overcome language barriers between participant’s.
|Group size||Minimum 4, maximum 20 people|
|Activity description||The facilitator puts the two large sheets of paper (one with the drawing of the tree and the other with the scale) and the pens in a place that permits participants to complete the tree relatively anonymously. Then the participants leave their feedback by means of drawing one leaf on each branch of the tree, according to the scale, which illustrates their degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with all the activities. Check that all participants complete the task.|
|Reflection Time||Bring the two large sheets of paper and place them where all can see them. The tree is now complete and all the participants can see easily where they agree or disagree. Invite all participants to observe and to analyse “The Communication Tree” in silence. Give them a few minutes to do that. Follow on with a stimulating discussion about their evaluations.