Improve initiative and participation in extracurricular activities

Through the following activities, youth workers shall be able to motivate young people to actively show initiative and participate in activities, e.g., group activities, volunteering, classes, counselling, events, etc.

Raise motivation and engagement

Parallel to improving their initiative and active participation, this topic focuses on raising motivation for collaboration and teamwork among young people.

Enable young people to try out new areas

Often young people stay in their comfort zones and are hesitant to try out new things. The activities aim at enabling youth workers to support young people in testing new waters and exploring new things.

Digital meeting platform, PC, laptop or tablet, costumes and props, video camera or smartphone, stable internet connection, music, paper, pencils, printed photos, poster, paperboard or screen

Please refer to the activity details to know exactly what materials are needed for them specifically.

Please refer to the activity details to know exactly what materials are needed for them specifically.


Dramatising a theatrical piece

Using the example of Antigone and Creon, the participants are motivated to participate in an active discussion and performance to highlight their point of view.

70-100 min

4-15 pers.


The way is the goal

Participants are engaged in their own development of a performance, only being provided with a text and afterwards a reflection to find feedback on their progress and engagement in the process.

up to 2h

2-15 pers.


Find your hobby

This activity centres on motivating participants to join extracurricular activities outside of their daily routine and follow through with the set goals.

15-60 min

1-15 pers.


Engagement and participation

Using movement, the participants are introduced to what it means to lead a group, as well as to be lead by others and how collaboration can work in a playful exercise.

45 min

min 5 pers.


This is us!

This activity includes exercises which shall be done outside of the training. Participants are asked to take photos on different topics representing them and their lives and to create a joint exhibition.

1 week

8-10 pers.


We’ve got a message for you

Participants are asked to fully dive into their creativity and initiative by creating a humanitarian project idea, developing a structure, visual identity and objectives.

60 min

15-20 pers.


Dramatising a theatrical piece

Estimated duration: 70-100 minutes – depending on the participants

Approx. number of participants: minimum 4 – maximum 15

Learning objectives:

  • Enable participants to engage and participate
  • Motivate participants to consider both sides of an argument
  • Improve creativity and creative perspectives
  • Help participants open up and share their problems

Needed materials: Extract from a play, i.e. Antigone by Sophocles; computer or laptop or mobile phone; digital platform, i.e. Zoom, Webex, MS Teams, Skype or any similar.

Description: Step 1 – Introduction (10 min): During the introduction, the facilitator will provide a short overview of the play Antigone and either read or narrate the extract (v. 441-525) that the group will be working on or ask two participants to read the parts of Antigone and Creon, in that case, the facilitator will read the part of the Chorus.

Step 2 (20 min): The group discusses the two sides of the argument, the conflict. They are divided into two subgroups and each subgroup goes to a separate room. There they are asked to create a short text that will express their point of view and their position. They are asked to divide the text and compose a small collective monologue, namely each participant will take on some lines and act them out.

Step 3 (15 min): All participants go back to the main meeting. Each group presents their collective monologue. Then there is a discussion examining each group’s perspective.

Step 4 (15 min): All participants, irrespective of the group they belonged, are asked to use their body and create individual body postures that express Creon’s position, when a body posture is taken by every participant a collective screen shot is taken by the facilitator. The group does the same for Antigone’s point of view. The two screenshots, which create two separate tableaux vivants, are shared by the facilitator and discussed by the group. Then a third tableaux vivant is created where each group supports their own position. This is also discussed by the entire group.

Step 5 – Reflection (10 min): The facilitator asks each group member to express what they keeps from all above session for their own life. The facilitator will ask questions that stimulate reflection, namely “How do you think the above exercise helps you communicate?”, “Did you find it engaging?” and so on. Then s/he will invite participants to pinpoint what stroke their attention, what they gained and want they want to keep as a reference point from all the above procedure as well as to ask any questions related to the exercise.

The way is the goal

Estimated duration: Up to 2 hours, depends on the group size. However, it is helpful to set the groups a deadline, so they know exactly when their scene has to be ready.

Approx. number of participants: Variable, min. 2. There is no maximum, as groups can always be divided into smaller groups. However, we would suggest no larger group than 15.

Learning objectives:

  • Being part of a group
  • Social interaction
  • Find compromises
  • Improve understanding of democratic processes
  • Understand that not the best option for a single person but for the whole group decides how results and the process come out at the end
  • Time management

Needed materials: Up to 3 short texts, or a mini drama 2-3 pages long (provide digitally and print out version), costumes & props, video camera/mobile phone

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: This exercise is about democratic/RJ values, as the group decides on all elements of the exercise (text, distribution roles, etc.) themselves. First, groups are divided freely, texts are chosen. Groups may choose the same text or different texts. The groups develop and present a scene, and will reflect on the process itself in the end.

Step 2: The groups now get to know the text, develop ideas for staging, cast roles, and rehearse.

Step 3: The groups film their scenes and afterwards watch all the videos together.

Step 4 – Reflection: The group reflects on the process:

  • What did we do?
  • What worked well, what did not work?
  • Who did what in particular?
  • Were we all equally involved in the process or were there people who dominated/didn’t get to speak etc.?
  • Was this OK for themselves and for the other people?
  • Are we content with its outcome (the scene performed)?
  • How did we solve problems that came up during the activity?

It is helpful to put these questions up on the blackboard, flip chart etc. so participants know what to talk about during the reflection round. You can do the reflection after watching the video, or even reflect once before watching the video, and then again after watching the video. The latter might allow for the participants to take a closer look, and to focus on different aspects/levels. If you work with a larger group, this could be divided into smaller groups, so that groups give feedback to each other. The main focus should always be on: What can participants learn from the selection and production process?

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: This is a process-oriented exercise, but it is also goal-oriented, as something ready for performance is produced.

The process is of course in the foreground, but a defined goal is necessary to realize in the end: My behaviour always has an impact on the group. If we can’t agree, we don’t reach the goal or if the exercises proceed with unresolved conflicts, the result may suffer.

Multiple rooms, outside space etc. is needed in order to give each group enough space to develop, rehearse and film their scene freely.

Find your hobby

Estimated duration: 15-60 minutes

Approx. number of participants: 1-15 participants

Learning objectives

  • Learning how to find information online
  • Finding a suitable social activity the participants can try out in their lives after the training

Needed materials: A smartphone/laptop for each participant, or (if face to face) at least one computer

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: Explain that nowadays a lot of useful information can be found online, including to find social events happening near.

Step 2: Discuss with the participants if they would like to join a local dance group or some other arts or sports group.

(if face to face and long): According to their choice, give them the opportunity to do a dance/song/draw something/etc.

Make a common discussion how they felt, what they liked, while doing the activity.

Step 3: Let them find information about groups/trainings for their hobby of choice in the place they live – when and where they are happening and if the young people could join.

Step 4 – Reflection: Encourage the young people to take action – contact the organizer of the event, visit a meeting/training/lesson. Discuss how that could benefit the young people and bring positives to their lives.

Ask for feedback after they try joining the local group/training.

Engagement and participation

Estimated duration: 45 minutes

Approx. number of participants: minimum 5 participants

Learning objectives

  • Improving teamwork and collaboration
  • Increasing mutual respect and understanding

Needed materials: PC, laptop, or tablet; internet; music

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: This activity will be carried out via Zoom or Skype.

To start the activity the facilitator will choose one person from the whole group. The selected person will close their eyes.

Step 2: While all participants are silent, the trainer chooses another participant who will initiate each new movement, so that the rest of the participants can follow the same movements the person makes.

Step 3: The person leading the movement will start moving before the first participants opens their eyes. It is recommended that the activity does not involve sounds (e.g., clapping) as the participant might realise who it is right away (as Zoom and Skype will move the one making sounds right to the front of the screen). Once prepared, the first participant chosen will open their eyes. The first participants then has to guess who leads the whole group. The leading participant should change up the movement now and then to give them a chance to guess.

This can be repeated as many times as they wish, always changing the person who guesses and the person who leads.

Step 4 – Reflection: At the end of each round, the person who guessed who the leader was should share with the rest of the group how they felt during the activity.

Possible questions:

  • “How did you feel having to guess the leader?”
  • “Did the participants collaborate well and it was hard to guess?”
  • “Where there any clear clues as to who the leading person was?”

It is recommended to do a first try out round where all chosen participants have their eyes open, to make the explanation of the instructions easier.

This is us!

Estimated duration: 7 days

Approx. number of participants: 8-10 participants

Learning objectives:

  • Improve creativity techniques
  • Improve interactions with the group
  • Improve creativity and tools to express themselves

Needed materials: Paper, pencil / smartphones / printed photos

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: in this activity, participants work on creating a collective narrative by telling their everyday lives. Being the last activity, the goal is to be able to express the thoughts already collected about Restorative Justice to the neighbourhood where they live. An exhibition of photographs taken by individual participants will be created, telling the story of the complexity and richness of each of their lives.

Step 2: Participants are divided into 2 groups. Each group is asked to work on a specific topic (ex: “school is where…”, “my family time is…”, “cooking at home is made of…”, “my friends and I love…”,”a special place in the neighbourhood is…”). Organize a debate on the topic, collecting and sharing ideas about it.

Step 3: Participants have a week to take pictures (with their smartphones) about the topic. Those pictures are then printed and exhibited and/or collected in a virtual place.

Step 4 – Reflection: Was it difficult to focus on the meaning of the topics given? How did you feel in showing scenes of your personal life to others? Can you find the choral sense of exhibiting your lives in a public space?

Find a place where to show the pictures, easily accessible to people living in the neighbourhood.

We’ve got a message for you

Estimated duration: 120 minutes

Approx. number of participants: 15-20 participants

Learning objectives

  • Imagining the creation of a humanitarian project for human rights.
  • Raise awareness on different topic
  • Promote the involvement and participation of young people in local society
  • Develop their knowledge about human rights.
  • Develop their ability to work in a team.

The facilitator will be able to:

  • Stimulate the creative spirit of the participants.
  • Make the students think about possible actions at the community level.
  • Make them discover the importance of belonging to a certain community and of getting involved.

Needed materials: Pens, coloured pencils, marker, poster, paperboard / or possible use Canva as a digital tool, screen, laptop

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: It is an activity, based on imagining the creation of a humanitarian project on human rights. The group will have to design a title, a logo, specifying the place, the objectives and the target and main actions of the project.

Step 2:

  1. The group is divided into groups, 3-4 participants per group. The facilitator gives the fundamental human rights list (it can give them inspiration). Then, ask participants to reflect on a concrete action they could do in their daily lives to improve living conditions in their city or neighbourhood or family.
    Facilitator prepares the class to the topic of fundamental human rights, explaining the main milestones to their development. Both Human Rights list and the reflection should help them find inspiration. The participant should propose topics that are close to their realities.
  2. Once they have imagined the action, ask them to represent it in a whole project in order to present it to the whole group.
  3. Give them several categories to help develop the project: title; logo; place; objectives; target; implementation; impact…
  4. The group has time to create the project (1hour)
  5. The group presents the project to the whole group.
  6. At the beginning of the activity, display the Human Rights to the whole group. It will allow participants to get inspiration.

Step 4 – Reflection

  • Did you enjoy working in a group?
  • What were the difficulties?
  • Did you learn new things?
  • What did you like best?
  • What did you like the least?
  • What will be the impact that you would like to see?
  • Ask if they intend to apply the actions they have proposed in their daily lives.

Inspired from an Erasmus+ Project “Drop In”

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