This activity is all about celebrating difference – understanding that we all have different strengths, but that we are equally valuable. It is also a chance to reflect on how people are sometimes told they can or can’t do something because of their gender, or the colour of their skin, but that everyone can become what they want no matter their gender identity or ethnicity.
If you have printed out the animal pictures, cut them up into the different animals and if you have the black and white copy, you could colour them in too.
Now put the animals in an order according to how well they can climb a tree. Make number 1 the best tree climber and number 5 not making it to the first twig. If you don’t have scissors, you can do this by writing the numbers next to the animals, or writing a list of the animals if you are looking at the picture on a screen.
Once you have your order, consider these questions:
- What does it say about the animals if they can climb a tree?
- Does it make them better animals?
- Is it fair to judge a fish according to how well they can climb a tree?
- Are there things that other animals can do well?
- What about your favourite animal?
- Can you compare this with humans?
Pick an animal that has a characteristic that you would like to have, or can do things that you would like to be able to do. if you are doing this in a group or with your family, don’t tell anyone just yet which animal you chose or why!
Now have a go at acting out your animal – can you show them doing the thing that you would like to be able to do? If you are in a group go one at a time and see if you can guess which animal each person has chosen and why.
Once you have had a go at being your animal, consider these questions:
- How do you want to be?
- Do you think you can be like this in real life? Why (not)?
- Does it matter if you are a boy or a girl for what/ how you want to be? Why (not)?
Take it Further
This is an activity from the IFM-SEI publication Rainbow Resources. It contains educational activities on issues such as identity, gender equality, heteronormativity, bullying, love and families in order to promote human rights education with children on sexuality and gender rights. A PDF of the full book is available here in a range of languages.