We all are different, sometimes we feel proud
of the difference and like to show it. At other times we
prefer to hide it either because we fear rejection or because
we want to be like everyone else. We are also all equal
in that as human beings we share many qualities.
• Personal identity.
• The qualities of being human.
• We are all different, but all
• To get to know and accept each
other in the group.
• To show that we are all different.
• To show that we are equal to
• To reflect on the ways in which
we form our own identity.
• Part A 30 minutes
• Part B 30 minutes
• Part C 20 minutes
• Discussion 20 minutes
Chalk for and a list of personal characteristics
for part A.
Papers and coloured pens and pins or sticky
(scotch) tape for part B.
This activity consists of three mini-activities,
which have been linked together to enable participants to
explore the differences between them, to think about what
makes each one of us unique and to share some of the things
we have in common.
Part A: Differences:
1. Make sure you have plenty of space and
that the room is as empty as possible.
2. Explain to the group that they have to
imagine a line down the middle of the room dividing it into
two halves. Stand on the line.
3. Ask everyone to stand at one end of the
room, and then say: "Cross the line those who... are
4. After those who were wearing trousers
have crossed the line say another characteristic: e.g. "Cross
the line those who...like cooking".
5. Once the group is warmed up, you could
include more challenging characteristics related to the
topic e.g. "Cross the line those who... have good friends
who are openly homosexual or lesbians".
Part B: Uniqueness:
6. Ask the group to think about the T-shirts
they wear, especially those that have logos or slogans relating
to campaign issues on them. Do they wear them because they
like the design or because they want to show that they support
a particular cause?
7. Explain that each person is now going
to design a very personal logo for their T-shirt, a logo
which proclaims them and says who they are.
8. Share out paper and pens to the members
of the group and give them 15 minutes to draw their personal
9. When they have finished, ask them to
pin or tape the designs onto their shirts and walk round
the room so that they can see what each other have done.
Part C: Seeking things we have in common:
10. Ask the players to find a partner and
identify three things which they have in common; one should
be something that they always do, feel or think; the second,
something which they sometimes do, feel or think; and the
third, something which they never do, feel, or think.
11. Now ask the pairs to try to find another
pair who shares those characteristics. If they can't find
another pair, then they have to make a four and negotiate
three new characteristics which they each claim and all
12. Then ask the fours to join to form eights
and repeat the negotiations. The activity is over once all
the participants form one single group and have identified
three things which they all hold in common.
13. If the group is very large check that
they all share the same characteristics by asking the players
to sit in a circle and, once a characteristic is mentioned,
those who identify themselves with it must stand up. If
somebody does not "fit" try again with another
Debriefing and evaluation
• Ask the players if they enjoyed
the activity and talk about what they learned:
• What did it feel like to have
to cross the line by yourself?
• How did you feel showing yourself
as a unique person different from everybody else?
• How did it feel when you saw
how many characteristics you share with the rest of the
• In our daily lives, when do
we like to feel unique and different, and when do we need
to feel the same as or equal to everybody else?
Ask people to share some of their own experiences:
• Have you ever had to hide your
identity in order to be accepted?
• Have you ever felt discriminated
against because you were different or because you were associated
with someone else?
• When have you been forced to
give up a part of your identity in order to be accepted
in a group?
Tips for the facilitator
In part A try at first to think of personal
qualities that are not shared by the rest of the group but
which are not too intimate. They can be personal "curiosities"
e.g. the way you brush your teeth or sing in the shower.
When the group is warmed up move on to personal experiences,
ask for people who have felt discriminated against, who
have an immigrant, Roma (Gypsy or traveller) or gay friend,
who have lived in another country, who have relatives who
emigrated or who have been in a wheelchair. Then move on
to explore personal likings, wishes, feelings, etc.
Since the characteristics in the first part
should be special, you should prepare a list before starting
the activity. Choose characteristics appropriate to the
group and according to what you know about the participants.
Alternatively, you ask the members of the group to suggest
characteristics, but beware that the group knows each other
well and no one will be tempted to try to embarrass anyone
During the second and third parts, it is
up to each person to identify the characteristics.
We suggest you join in with this activity
so you can follow the group process better.
Suggestions for follow up
Organise a session when people can paint
or print their own T-shirts. They could use their personal
designs or create a design for the campaign or any other
Other activities in the pack which you might
like to move on to are 'My childhood'
to look at the different experiences we have each had as
children which make us who we are today or 'Personal
heroes' to look what it is in our heroes that we admire.
Equality in dignity and rights is enshrined
in the universal declaration of human rights. How much do
the group know about the UDHR? Maybe it is time to find
out? Look at the activity, 'Rights
Bingo' in Compass.