3. Ten activities to introduce DE to younger age groups

Looking to energise, introduce or start exploring a development education (DE) issue? Here we present 10 activities for younger groups and 30 activities for anyone over 12 years old.

You can (and indeed should) adapt them to suit the needs of your group.

Feel free to use these in conjunction with a specific DE method (see Talking about development education methodologies for more) or simply use an activity to introduce a group to a key development or human rights issue as the basis for a deeper exploration later on.

10 activities to introduce and explore development education with younger age groups

There are many resources and programmes immediately accessible on this and other sites for introducing development education to younger age groups. Organisations such as Trócaire, Amnesty International, the National Youth Council of Ireland, Concern Worldwide and 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World have produced a range of materials which explore a wide range of issues in an appropriate and accessible manner. Below, we present a selection of them with links to where they can be accessed and used further.

  1. Here is a video and slide show on the issue of water in the context of Malawi and a set of resources on the theme of fairtrade for a range of ages
  1. The issue of human rights and how they relate to basic human needs for all can be explored here with this resource from Amnesty Ireland (see, in particular lessons 1 and 2 for introducing basic ideas in development education).
  1. The Team Planet Programme covers the bulk of primary school age groups and explores the theme of our place in the planet and its future;
  1. Imagining the world as a village of 100 people has always been an excellent starting point for development education; an animation on the theme can be found here with an alternative version here. Updated figures can be found here and an excellent set of related posters here – Why not try making your own versions?
  1. This excellent video by the Girl Effect can be used to introduce the issue of girl’s rights with ages 10+ and could be followed up with this video by the Children’s rights Alliance in Ireland
  1. Use the video on the DICE Project website to explore the issue of climate change and then use the activity related to recycling
  1. The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has produced a large range of activities many of which are suitable for introducing development education – see the full list covering 12 different themes and use this activity to introduce the issue of hunger in the world
  1. Use the NYCI resource pack for One World Week Setting Our Sights Rights; it has a series of appropriate and accessible activities and is available free
  1. Mark an international day such as Human Rights Day (December 10th) or World Water Day (March 22nd) or World Refugee Day (June 20th) etc. and consider using or adapting the ideas from UNICEF available free
  1. Introduce the idea of food waste, use these facts and then link to this video which looks at Dublin

See the materials for primary education section for more information.