Working with young people
This opinion card activity is about
raising awareness and challenging the perception of
how young people are viewed by adults in society
White postcards with the opinions
(one set for each group)
1 -1.5 hours
10 - 25 people
Ask people to form groups of four
or five and give each group a set of opinion cards.
Each person in the group picks an opinion card and
reads it out. The person places than the card down
on an imaginary line between two points: Agree and
Disagree. You can use also the following pattern:
Other members of the group now say whether they
support where the card lies or think it should be
moved, giving their reasons.
Once the groups have finalised, everybody can walk
around and look at the position of the opinion cards
of the others. Open this out to a general discussion
in the large group.
Some specific questions should also be posed:
• What opinions did most
people agree/disagree with? Why?
• Was it easy or difficult
to reach group agreement?
• Did they feel that each
group member had an equal amount of speaking time?
Opinions about young people (*)
This are examples, of course you
can add yours or ask the group to write statements
about young people.
• Young people, as a rule
take more from society than they give back.
• Young people think talking
to adults about life is a waste of time.
• You need to learn to
love yourself before you can love anyone else.
• You can't expect the
world to look after you.
• Young people can make
a big difference to the world.
• Young people can't influence
anything in the adult world.
• It's important to live
your life in the way that your friends do.
• It's important to live
your life in a way that's true to yourself.
• Someone will always help
you out when you need help in life.
• Young people are a bad
influence on each other, they need adult discipline.
• Without the interference
of adults, young people could make this a much better
• Young people respond
well to adult encouragement in dealing with problems.
This session is intended to help
the group address issues such as attitudes towards
young people, needs of young people, working with
young people etc. Either at this point or later this
activity can form a useful base for discussion about
the role of the peer coach.
A more active version of this session is possible
with a small group. Draw in a room an imaginary line
between two points. One point is labelled agree and
the other disagree. Read out an opinion card and everybody
must then stand where they want between the two points.
Some people can give an explanation and say why they
choose for this position, for those who perhaps do
not have a strong opinion, the middle or centre can
offer an 'undecided' position.
Techniques of using cards to supply information,
which is to be the basis for discussion, are well
tried and tested. The technique used in this activity
is sometimes called "diamond ranking" and
can be adapted to any topic. Another technique, which
can also be adapted, is the "find the pairs,
memory game", which is described in the activity,
for all" in Compass.
(* Extract from Just Us!: Young
people in action with young people, by John Holt and
Philip Hope, British Red Cross, 1994)