In their shoes

In their shoes


  • To practice communication and observation skills
  • To enhance empathy
  • To become aware of judgmental attitudes
  • To understand better that individual experiences are subjective
  • To discuss children’s rights

Time needed: 60 minutes

Group Size: 6 – 20

Materials needed:

  • Copies of the three stories

Description of the Tool:

Step 1: Explain that some children attended a Summer Camp and three of them have given this class permission to read their diaries. The students are divided into three groups and each group is given one of the stories to read.

Step 2: After they have read the stories, bring the students together and go through the events of the Summer camp (solving puzzles, lunch, playing football, building a raft and crossing the river). Stop at each event and ask each group what their character was doing, thinking and feeling at that point.

Step 3: Ask members of the group to describe the young person whose story they read. Discuss how three young people could have such different experience of the same event by asking questions such as:

a. Why did they misunderstand each other?

b. Do you think they would have behaved differently if they knew about each other’s lives?

c. What misunderstandings did they have about each other?

d. Did you ever experience a similar situation?

e. How can we avoid making mistakes about other people?

Step 4: Close the activity by debriefing and evaluation. Some questions that can be asked are:

a. What do you think of the three stories?

b. Would you a enjoy a day like that? Why or why not?

c. Which story touched you the most? Would you like to say why?

d. Do you think you would be able to have friends that might not be able to read or that are poor?

e. What do you think can be done to change the situation?

Tips for educators

i. The stories may seem unrealistic or unfamiliar for some students. These stories can be adapted to reflect your students’ realities and concerns.

ii. Especially when working with disadvantaged people it is important to be sensitive to the attitude that these children have of themselves.

iii. Some students may identify with the characters in the story, thus sensitive debriefing is required. Be aware of stereotypes and judgmental attitudes.

iv. In order to reach to students of different abilities, the stories can be read out loud and debriefing can be carried out after each story