The aim of the session is really to introduce the issue of sectarianism and to enable young people to voice their thoughts and opinions.

Game: Tight Hands Game

This game gives children a metaphor for discussing inclusion and exclusion. Begin by explaining that the group will act as if it is excluding someone.

Have young people hold hands in a circle. One child volunteers to be the outsider. They try to get into the circle through spaces between people, while everyone else tries to keep him or her out. Caution children to be gentle when blocking the outsider. When the outsider gets into the circle, stop the game and ask for another volunteer.

After playing several rounds, ask: What did it feel like to be an outsider? Did anyone want to let the outsiders inside the circle? Did you let them slip in? Why or why not? Have you ever felt like an outsider in school or at a group? When?

Photo Dash

Before the session create cards with different words and phrases on them. These work best when they are short and very general e.g Belonging, My identity, Lifestyle, Divided city, better together, Love wins…

a) Split the group into teams.
b) Lay the picture cards along one end of the hall and the word cards up one side.
c) The teams stand at the opposite end of the hall to the picture cards.
d) On ‘go’, the first team members race to pick up a picture card and bring it back to the team.
e) The second team members take the card and find a word that matches the picture. They bring the pair back to the team.
f) And so on till the cards run out.

Once all pictures and words are picked have the participants create short sentences/phrases relating each of the photos and chosen word.

Stealing the Scene


To increase awareness of how certain actions lead to certain consequences and how changing one action can lead to a completely different outcome.
To encourage participants to think about how they could change things in their lives to make them better.
To explore potentially upsetting or threatening situations in a safe environment and to formulate appropriate responses to these.
This is role play with a difference. Instead of playing out the full scene, you freeze it midway through. You then replace some of the actors, making them take up the same positions as those leaving. When the scene restarts, the new arrivals have to react in a different way to what is going on. These are played out without sound.

a) Read out the scenario and have the group come up with their scene.

b) Stop the scene and ask:

What do you see?
What do you think is happening?
What do you think is going to happen?
c) Substitute new actors and restart the scene.

d) Once the scene has been played out, discuss how the new actors changed things and whether they improved matters or not.


A few young people are playing football and what starts off as friendly rivalry turns into a heated discussion. One goes to throw a punch. STOP THE SCENE. Substitute the two main protagonists and see if they can change the outcome when the scene restarts (eg punch turns into high five) so it returns to friendly rivalry and doesn’t become a fight.


Working in groups have young people list words they would associate with sectarianism on large flipchart paper. Once they’ve listed words from A to Z encourage them to think about the opposite of each word.

They then choose their favourite words or the words they think will most help tackle sectarianism. Each group then create a mindmap on an additional sheet of flipchart paper using their chosen word(s) and build up sentences/phrases/ideas/opinions. The groups then take turns moving around the different mindmaps adding their ideas and thoughts.

Once completed the entire group circle their favourite word/phrase/sentence on each of the mindmaps.

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