Empathy

In small groups students create a short video, role-playing an interview with a person who suffers disadvantage (possibly drawing on research conducted under Attentiveness for SDG 16). Be sure to express how it feels to be the disadvantaged person (e.g. impact on health, wellbeing, relationships, self-esteem, living conditions, economic and social opportunities).

Learners take note of all food products eaten in a weekend e.g. what products, where they come from, which varieties they have eaten and their price. They then research the impact of the production and transportation of these items. Share results and discuss the impact of having cheap food on natural environments and local communities. Are your income and inequality critical issues in environmental injustice? What strategies (if any) were developed to cope with budget limitations during the exercise? Can you identify/imagine other strategies?

Act as if your life was depending on life under water through the method of “image theatre”.

  1. A ‘photograph’ of a scene in which various submarine animals and plants as well as humans is created by a group of learners. The scene represents a situation where there is overexploitation of natural resources by big fisheries which impact on the traditional fisherfolk and their families, as well as the animals and plants represented. Only those acting know what the scene is, they stay in place without moving and the rest of the group has to find out what the situation is about.
  2. A student not involved goes to one of the people acting (anyone except the big fishery representative) and asks him/her how they feel being in this situation.
  3. The student then takes the place of that person in the picture, reformulates how his/her predecessor felt and acts it.
  4. The process can be repeated a few times with other stakeholders, before asking the big fishery representative how he/she feels.

A second image can then be set up with a more sustainable situation, and the process can start again.

Use simulations and drama actions to help build and increase empathy towards the problem and to increase the perception of related risk as well as of the urgency to make a behaviour change.

Group discussion: open or small group discussion.
Do you think your lifestyle is sustainable? How can you tell if your lifestyle is sustainable?
How can we compare lifestyles? How would you compare your lifestyle to a student in another country?
(Use a relevant example such as comparing your lifestyle to a cousin/friend’s in another country.)
Ask students to measure/compare everything! Lead them to the concept of “Ecological Footprint” as a unit to measure and compare different lifestyles. Our ecological footprint allows us to calculate how much pressure our lifestyle is putting on the planet.

Conduct interviews with community members in need or visit isolated or remote areas to learn in situ the problems and difficulties they have. Produce a report of findings with specific measures that can be undertaken for more sustainable living. Ask the support of NGOs and other organizations for their implementation.

Debate: Touristic Development Vs endangered species conservation. Students are divided into two groups: one group supporting touristic development of an area and the other group supporting halting touristic development for the protection of endangered species in the same area.
Groups collect data, explore various resources for justifying their position and try to address the issue from different points of view. It is important that the ideas that will be finally adopted take into consideration the fact that our quality of life and sustainable living not only depend on economic welfare, but also depend on living in harmony with other species.

Game-example: Bury me, my love

Bury me, my Love tells the story of a Syrian couple, Nour and Majd. They are separated, as Nour decides to leave her country and tries to reach Europe for a safer life, but Majd has to remain and take care of older relatives. The only way they can communicate is through a chat application on their smartphones. As a player, you witness those conversations and try to help Majd provide Nour with the best possible advice and support.

Students learn a song eg:

Discuss the meaning of the song and the fact that these are relatively old songs (at least 40 years) that describe a specific situation. Can we relate to it? Is it still relevant? Do we all feel the same about it? How do we deal with differences? What should we do about the issues mentioned?

Students write a poem, essay, song, roleplay in which a preferred solution is described. Imagine (John Lennon) could be used as an example.

Identify 3 or 4 case studies of different job roles (positive & negative). Working in small groups, students take one each and research it, identifying likely positive and negative impacts of role on stakeholders. Group members take it in turns to role-play someone in the job role while others interview them about their job.

Students divide into groups. Each group imagines a family in a different socio-economic class and role-plays typical behaviour. Groups share and discuss and reflect on the causes and implications of different behaviours identified. As a final activity, the teachers invite learners to situate themselves in a situation of energy poverty and collectively reflect on their feelings and emotions.