- To reflect on the way children’s personal beliefs affect their behavior
- To understand better the new social distancing and to adapt their habits to the new rules
On completion of this activity, children will be able:
- to appreciate that all public institutions should respect, protect and implement human rights
- to appreciate that all citizens should be treated equally and impartially under the law
- to accept responsibility for their actions
- to adapt to new situations by applying their knowledge in a different way
- to reflect critically on their values and beliefs
Source of the activity
Contributed by Vasilka Kolovska (Free-to-speak-safe-to-learn)
Competences targeted by the activity
- Valuing human dignity and human rights
- Valuing democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of law
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Knowledge and critical understanding of the self
- Resources for teaching controversial issues:
- The Council of Europe fact sheet on “Teaching controversial issues”5
- The Council of Europe publication6
- Videos about Handshake Alternatives and Covid-19 Etiquette7
- Social Distancing flyer8
- Tools for on-line surveys9
- Show a short video about Handshake Alternatives. The video should explain that social distancing includes eliminating the physical contact that occurs with the typical handshake, hug or kisses.
- Ask the children to discuss their methods of greetings and whether they are familiar with the new forms of greetings behaviour from the video. The following question may be used to stimulate their reflections:
- How do you greet your friends and classmates?
- How do you greet your relatives?
- Are these new greeting methods appropriate for adults?
- Is it easy to change your lifelong habits for a week?
- Children give their own answers to these questions. For an online class, they can use the chat box section for their responses; for a classroom activity, they can use group discussion.
- During the Covid-19 pandemic, many institutions have issued videos, flyers and posters devoted to the crisis. Wearing masks, keeping social distance and avoiding travel are controversial issues which arouse strong feelings and divide opinion in communities and society. Show children an image of a Social Distancing flyer.
- Ask children to give their definition of social distancing. If the lesson is in online mode, use the tool AnswerGarden, which allows the participants to see the entries immediately.
- Organize a simple group survey with the children about their opinions of some of the restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. For example:
- Are they maintaining a distance of 2 metres (two arms’ length) between them and others?
- Are they using a protection mask all the time when they are outside their homes?
- Are they shopping in small local shops or big supermarkets?
- Are they visiting cinemas/theatres/malls?
- Are they making non-essential trips?
- Are they visiting their elderly relatives?
- Do they celebrate birthdays with friends?
- Is friendship more important than social distance?
- After the survey, explore with the children the results and discuss the outcomes.
- Divide the children into groups of 5 for acting out a role play:
- Each group has to have one reporter (who will ask questions to the others), medical worker, police officer, shop cashier, and prime minister (all front-line jobs in the fight against Covid-19).
- The reporter asks each member of the group the questions from step 6. In addition, they can add more questions, for example:
- How do the people from the front-line of the fight against Covid-19 feel about the behavior of the population?
- Are they worried about the health of their families?
- What advice would they like to give to young people and adults?
- Each group presents their work to the whole class, briefly explaining their feelings about changing perspectives. They should also summarise the ideas that emerge.
Debriefing and Evaluation
- Ask the children to comment on and discuss the process of the activity. They should also be asked to reflect critically on what they have learnt from the activity, using the following questions:
- How do you feel about the story? Have you learned any new methods for Covid-19 Etiquette and Social Distance?
- Did you find it difficult to change your habits just for a short period of time?
- Did you learn something new about Covid-19? If so, what did you learn?
- What have you learned about the professionals from the front-line as a result of doing this activity?