My First Day @

Type of tool: 
60-90 min
Topics addressed: 
Adult education
Conflict management
Social inclusion

A role play activity that puts trainees in an explorative and interactive case where social inequality is presence and allows them to question the multiple elements and reasons that led to the absence of social cohesion.


The tool aims to:
1. Highlight how social inequality is present due to prioritising personal gain over the public welfare.
2. Highlight the importance of questioning the backgrounds of the others when interacting with them to know how to create a common ground leading to create a better social cohesion setting.
3. Highlight the fact that everyone’s contribution should be taken into consideration in order to reduce disparities.


This tool blends discovery based learning with problem based learning, allowing trainees to interact and reflect starting from pre-assigned mind-set and roles and then diverge from them into a more accommodating and inclusive mind-set.

Step by step process: 

The game is goes in four different stages, as outlined below:
Stage #1: Preface (5 mins)
The trainer gives a general brief for all the trainees about the context, showing the picture of the school (see appendix 1) in which the “first day” is taking place, for everyone to get a concrete understanding of the possible problems that could be faced in such a context.
After that, the trainer will give each trainee a small paper that has two identifiers (see appendix 2):
1- Color (red, blue, green, yellow)
2-Role assigned (teacher, student, principal, parent)
The trainees have to look at the paper handed to the (see printout in appendix) and then hide it.

Stage #2: Ideation & Sharing (25 mins)
The primary task that the trainees are required to do is to come up with 10 solutions that would make the first day experience a more enjoyable / less frustrating one for them.
First, they do it individually over 5 minutes.
Once this task is accomplished, they are grouped according to the colour of their cards and then are given another 10 minutes to compile a list of 10 solutions that would make their experience better.

Reaching an agreement at this stage will be difficult, and probably impossible, given the short time frame given to present the different solutions and agree on the top 10 suggestions out of the minimum of 40 prepared by the members of each group.

Once time is up, each team has to report their status.
If they ended up compiling a list of 10 solutions, they have to share it. If not, they have to share what happened (they are given 10 mins overall to share or 2 mins per team), answering the following questions:
1. Were you able to compile a list of 10 solutions?
2. If yes, what are they?
3. Who do they serve overall? Which user benefited the most from this? Why?
4. If not, why was it difficult to reach a mutual agreement?
5. How did you go around that?
6. What do you suggest to do in order to reach a mutual agreement?

Stage #3: Embracing Diversity (5 mins)
After the teams share their insights, the trainer highlights the fact that it is difficult to reach a state of full fair agreement on the solutions and invites trainees to dig deeper into the causes of this difference in their perspectives.
The trainer will highlight the fact that each of the trainees is experiencing the same problem from a different role with different motives.
Now, the trainer tells them that the next task will be about exploring these motives of the others in order to be able to better understand them and accommodate their needs.

Stage #4: Questioning Motives (15 mins)
Trainees are now asked to sit back in their groups and start asking each other questions to better understand each other an the motives of each person according to their role.
The suggested questions can be:
1. What are the main problems that you face?
2. Which problem of these requires the most attention from your side? Why?
3. How do others in the school contribute to the presence of this problem?
4. How can others help you in overcoming your problems?

Stage #5: Presentations & Debrief (10 mins)
Each team shares their final insights that they gained from this brief questioning session.
They will also reflect on the importance of interviewing the different stakeholders in a certain context in order to understand the situation as these people are experiencing it in order to avoid making assumptions that would lead them to misjudgement and social exclusion.
Here the trainer can compile a list of lessons learned by the trainees based on the collective brainstorming activity and crystallize on some important elements of social inclusion such as empathy, participation, respect and acceptance.
The debrief questions can include:
1. How was the experience of interviewing your team members?
2. How was your experience as being the interviewee?
3. Did you notice any shift in your own perspective after learning the views of others?
4. How did your understanding of the situation overall change after this final activity?
5. Are there any contexts in which we face such cases of social exclusion and misunderstanding?
6. What are the lessons learned from this game?

Materials and resources: 

A4 papers (30) – Flipchart Papers(10) – Pens (20) – Markers (8) – Timer (trainer’s mobile) – Laptop (trainer’s laptop) – Projector (1) – Sticky Notes(2 packs – around50) – scissors (1 – for the trainer to cut out the cards in the appendix)
Trainees sit in a U shape setting, facing the projection.
Later their 20 chairs will be moved around so that they will be able to sit in groups of 4.


Trainees will learn to:
1. Challenge the self-centred mindset
2. Accommodate others through embracing a welfare-centred mindset which reduces disparities and polarization, and gives more room for negotiation.
3. Solve problems in an inclusive manner that is fair for all the different stakeholders involved in a certain context
4. Use the process of questioning motives behind the actions that the don’t necessarily understand from people
5. Not judge quickly and accommodate the need of others when interacting with them.


The evaluation can be done as follows:

Each trainee is given an A4 paper and is asked to divide it into three parts:
Part #1: What I like most about this activity
Part #2: What I would like to remove from this activity
Part #3: Main lesson learned from this activity
Part #4: How will I use what I learned in my own community?

(The trainees will be given 5 minutes to do this evaluation, and the other 5 mins will be used to distribute and then collect the papers from them)

Notes for further use: 

The context can be adjusted to suit the background from which the trainees come and to assimilate a familiar context in which they normally operate.
This tool is highly adaptable and combines multiple disciplines, techniques and target groups.

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DISCLAIMER: SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

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