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What if


What to do

Introduce the activity, explaining that everybody will try to imagine ‘What if…’. Sometimes we imagine good situations (e.g. What if there were no more wars?) and sometimes bad situations (e.g.
What if a war occurred in my country?).

In this activity the participants will be given a situation and asked to consider what effects it might have on people’s lives.

Introduce the effects cascade (see attached PDF) and illustrate how one situation can lead to a chain of
events. Use a simple, familiar situation (e.g. What if you were not allowed to go to school? > Not
learning to read > Not being able to follow written instructions, understand a map, write a letter,
use the computer).

Divide the children into small groups and give each group a situation and a copy of the effects
cascade, and pens. Ask them to work together to complete it.

When the children have completed the effects cascade, explain that they should now prepare one
or a series of ‘freeze frames’ (a human statue, showing something with their bodies) which shows
what effects that they have imagined could arise from the situation. Give the children time to prepare their presentations.

Ask each group in turn to read out their situations and act out their presentation.

After each presentation ask for questions and comments, asking questions such as these:

  • What did the group show?
  • Do you think the effects described are realistic?
  • Can you think of other effects that this situation might have

Circle time discussion

  • How do you feel about this activity?
  • Was it easy to imagine the ‘what if…?’ situations?
  • Do you think these situations should exist in the world? Why? Why not?
  • Do you think children or adults are better in taking decisions? Explain.
  • Can you think of any examples in these situations where children’s rights are promoted?
  • What about where they are violated?
  • When one right is promoted, how does that affect other rights? Can you think of any examples from the presentations?

Tips for facilitators
• The effectiveness of the activity greatly depends on the kind of situations you offer. Adapt or develop new situations that relate to the participants’ experiences and concerns. Try to include both
positive and negative situations.

Resources Required



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