Raise awareness on stereotypes

The activities of this topic aim to raise awareness on stereotypes and how we are influences in our daily life by them. 

Reduce influence of stereotypes

The activities focus on reducing the influence of stereotypes among young people as well as on the professionals in youth work.

Use Restorative Justice to solve misunderstandings

Using Restorative Justice values of balance and respect, this topic revolves around solving conflicts and misunderstandings among young people due to stereotypes.

Smartphone, computer (PC, laptop, or tablet), stable internet connection, digital meeting platform (e.g., Zoom)

For the in-person activities: large room, big screen/ projector

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.


Digital Role on the Wall

An activity combining drawing and collages about Antigone and Creon and the interpretation of their roles and story.

70-90 min

12-15 pers.


There’s always more to it

Improvisation and acting is key in this activity focusing on raising awareness on prevalent stereotypes as well as hidden stereotypes and their connected feelings and thoughts.

20+ min

4-15 pers.


Guess the stereotype

This activity combines analysing traditional dance for stereotypes, as well as learning a new skill and dance and combining the sensitive topic with body movement.

30-60 min

1-20 pers.


Differences in Flamenco

This activity highlights how stereotypes are also reproduced in traditional dances (dances can be adapted to country).

60 min

min 5 pers.


Put yourself in the other’s shoes

Combining acting and story telling, this activity focuses on how the participants themselves have experienced stereotypes and can share it with the others in an engaging way.

120 min

8-10 pers.


All on the same train

An engaging activity where the participants are directly confronted with stereotypes and their own perception of other people.

90 min

5-20 pers.


Digital Role on the Wall

Estimated duration: 70-90 minutes

Approx. number of participants: 12-15 participants

Learning objectives:

  • The participants will be able to interact through Google Drawings and creative file sharing
  • Cooperative digital team-work
  • Mutual support and aid
  • Scaffolding digital learning
  • Emotion recognition and transformation into a digital art activity

Needed materials: Access to Google Drive and Google Drawings; Computer or laptop or mobile phone; Digital platform, i.e. Zoom, Webex, MS Teams, Skype or any similar.

Description: Step 1 – Creation: 20-25 minutes

All the members of the group have their cameras on so that they can see each other. The facilitator sends them a link to a Google Drawing “wall” [each separate group, gets one common link]. Each group creates two outlines of human figures on Google Drawings Wall: an outline of Antigone’s figure and an outline of Creon’s figure. Then they are asked to visually map the relationship between characteristics- emotions and behaviors-actions by writing: a. Inside each figure: how the Role feels and believes about him/her self and actions, b. Outside of the outline: how others believe and feel about his/her actions and feelings. The facilitator creates digital rooms where she/he divides the participants. In the rooms the participants create their own drawing, based on the two outlines with the words and phrases added. 3-5 digital collages are created.

Step 2- Digital On line Sharing: 10-15 minutes

The participants return to the main group meeting area of the platform. There, they share their drawing, read the phrases and words, and analyse their creative processes.

Step 3: 15-20 minutes- Collective Digital Drawing

The facilitator asks the participants to recreate a common collage based on the two outlines of Antigone and Creon [of each group] and to choose which figures, characteristics, stereotypes, words they will keep in their collective collage

Step 4 – Reflection: 10 minutes

The facilitator asks group members to express what they keep from all the above session and stimulates reflection by asking participants to express their feelings and thoughts in the chat. Then s/he reads the feedback and thanks the participants for their active participation. They all have to save their files [drawings & collages) as they can use those in other activities.

There’s always more to it

Estimated duration: 20-30 minutes for each pair

Approx. number of participants: We suggest up to 15. If more are involved, not all participants should be split into pairs. A remaining group should just watch as audience and not prepare a scene. We suggest a maximum of 4 pairs in total.

Learning objectives:

  • Develop psychological depth of view
  • Deepen understanding that you always have to look twice
  • Self exposure: Realize that we sometimes think too superficially and let ourselves be guided by stereotypes
  • Dealing with and debunking projections

Needed materials: Mobile phone or camera to record the scenes; character details (2 pairs can also receive the same information to illustrate the differences in the approaches).

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: A group will be split into pairs of 2. They will not be informed what the aim of the exercise is, only that they will improvise on a certain character. In the following steps, they will receive information on their character, which will drastically change during the exercise.

Step 2: Participants leave the room, but do not receive any information at this stage. One by one, the pairs enter the room and now receive initial information on their character, which should mirror a certain stereotype. Pairs meet spontaneously in their respective roles and improvise a scene. They might receive a setting such as supermarket, bench in a park etc. Step by step, they receive further information which will drastically change the character. One way to do this would be to give the two participants a stack of cards with the information about their character and tell them that they are only allowed to read the card on top. Whenever they hear a specific signal they have to look at the next card on their stack and incorporate the information into the scene. The whole scene is filmed from the beginning. After the scene is played, the pair can join the rest of the audience.

Step 3: All come back and watch the videos together.

Step 4 – Reflection: Participants should realize that they have played a stereotype, but that more information on their character produces a much more elaborated and deeper view on our fellow human beings. They reflect on how our perception of others changes when we receive more information about them. With this, they should understand that there is always more than what you see on first sight. Interesting questions could be: Did you expect the details about your character? Did you expect the development of you character? How about your partner’s character? Vice versa, they should also reflect on what it provokes on me if I am the person who is confronted with a certain stereotype: Do I serve the stereotype, knowingly or unconsciously, assuming to know what people expect from me? Does this feel right? Why do I allow this? Does this feel like I am a free person, or do I allow myself to be guided in predefined paths?

Guess the stereotype

Estimated duration: 30-60 minutes

Approx. number of participants: 1-20 participants

Learning objectives:

  • Identifying gender stereotypes and refuting them

Needed materials: Computer and multimedia with internet connection, on which videos can be played

Description: Step 0: Initial preparation: Find minimum 2 videos showing local (folklore) dances from your country – or world-wide popular ones, that represent the gender stereotype that a man should lead this activity. (vice versa – a woman can also work). Find an additional video material – that is a tutorial for this dance / activity.

Step 1 – Introduction: Explain shortly what stereotypes are. Mention examples of stereotypes.

Step 2: Play the 3 videos (see the Bulgarian examples linked down, showing different Bulgarian horos (line dances). The facilitators in each country should show similar dance (or other art-based folklore activities). Ask the participants to identify a stereotype common for all of the videos.

(if face-to-face)

Step 3: The facilitators teach the participants the dance (in Bulgarian case it is pravo – straight – horo dance from the Thrace region) either themselves or by playing the video lesson linked below on a big enough screen. Then the participants dance and take turns leading it – both the girls and the boys.

When participants dance, highlight and change positions on purpose.

(if online)

Step 3: The facilitators play a video (see the Bulgarian example linked below) of the dance / activity, where the other gender representative is leading / performing it. Discuss that obviously that’s not a problem for the execution of the dance.

Step 4 – Reflection: Discuss if it makes sense to stick to that stereotype in today’s world and what it represents in wider social terms.

The stereotype in Step 2 is, that always a man is leading the Bulgarian dance horo (line dance).

The facilitator may choose other dance videos to demonstrate the same or other stereotypes.

Step 2:

Examples Bulgarian folklore dances:

Step 3 (in-person):

Step 3 (online):

Examples Flamenco:

Other examples:

Differences in Flamenco

Estimated duration: 60 minutes

Approx. number of participants: min. 5 participants – no maximum number of participants

Learning objectives:

  • Raising awareness on equality
  • Understanding that professions and occupations are not gender restricted
  • Reflecting on the pre-conceived, and stereotypical perception on a person or a profession

Needed materials: PC, laptop, or tablet; projector, or big screen; online writing panel (Padlet, conceptboard), internet

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

First, before watching the videos, participants will individually think about the clothes a woman wears while dancing flamenco, followed by the clothes a man wears while dancing flamenco.

Step 2: Next, they will write in the online writing panel what each person imagines both to look like and what attributes they connect them to.

Step 3: The participants will watch 2-3 videos (one video depicts the typical clothes of a man and woman dancing flamenco, in the other video there is a man dancing in a skirt and shawl, and the woman dancing in pants).

Once they have watched all the videos, they share what they had written in the online panel and what they have seen in the videos.

Step 4 – Reflection: The sensations experienced during the activity are shared. Together you can have a debate.

Possible questions:

  • “What did you think of both representations?”
  • “Do you think we prejudge before we see or meet people?”
  • “Why do you think you had a certain image of the dancers in your mind?”

This activity can be carried out with dances other than flamenco, depending on the national context.

Example videos:

Put yourself in the other’s shoes

Estimated duration: 120 minutes

Approx. number of participants: 8-10 participants

Learning objectives:

  • Improve interactions within the group
  • Improve the understanding of stereotypes
  • Knowledge about Restorative justice theory

Needed materials: Smartphones

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: an activity to guide participants in understanding the complexity of other’s lives and to break the stereotypes that usually guide people in the first approach to other people. The facilitator should give a little overview of Restorative Justice, and mostly on the importance to better understand others’ point of view and dialogue. (10min)

Step 2: FIRST PART (tot 60 min) Participants are divided into couples and given a specific topic, as to be guided in the development of the activity. Ex: “I once had a problem at school/work when…” (it is suggested to give a theme that all the participants have likely experienced). Participants think about a special episode (5min) and tell it to the partner (20min)

Step 3: SECOND PART (tot 60 min) Participants have to put in a scene, through a short sketch, the memories narrated by other participants. They have time to prepare it (20min) and then act it (tot 40 min) . After, the group discuss about the problems emerged (35min). A participant can take videos and photos during the performance.

Step 4 – Reflection: How did you feel in acting the memories of the other person? What are the topics related to stereotypes that you encountered? Gender, religion,…? How did you feel about it? Have you ever thought about those problems before? Are they the same problems you have experienced?

All on the same train

Estimated duration: 90 minutes

Approx. number of participants: min. 5 – max. 15 to 20 participants

Learning objectives:

  • Introduction to prejudice and the limits of tolerance
  • Introduction to images and stereotypes about minorities
  • To challenge participants’ stereotypes and beliefs about others and minorities, and to explore the images and associations evoked by the portraits.
  • To reflect on participants’ different perceptions of minorities.
  • To make participants aware of the limits of tolerance.
  • To confront participants’ values and stereotypes.

Needed materials: Wool ball, copies of the activity sheet, one per participant (see annexes), a pencil for each participant, music

Description: Step 1 – Introduction, “Wool ball” (a short icebreaker to start, it can be optional):

  • Make a circle with all participants
  • The facilitator starts, he/she has the wool ball in his/her hand
  • He/she introduces himself or herself to the group by saying his or her name and a stereotype he or she knows.
  • After finishing the presentation, the participant throws the ball to another person in the circle who in turn presents herself/himself.
  • Once all participants have introduced themselves, a spider web will be created.
  • The group is then asked to return the spider web to the starting ball. They have to untie the knot.
  • Participants will then have to propose solutions and decide together how this can be done.

Step 1 for “all on the same train” activity: Give a copy of the activity sheet to each person. Note that the list can be adapted the way the facilitator wants. Briefly describe the scenario and ask participants to read the portraits of the train passengers.

Ask each person individually to choose:

  • three people they would most like to travel with,
  • the three they would least like to travel with.

Step 2: Once everyone has made their choice, ask them to get into groups of 4.

  • In group they must compare their respective individual choices and the reasons for them and look for similarities
  • Then, the group need to agree with a common list; the 3 they would least like to travel with, and the 3 they would most like to travel with, by means of a consensus.

They have around 10min to agree on a list.

Step 3: Then ask each group to imagine 2 stories/scenarios by doing roleplay that they’ll present to the whole group – this part should not take more

  • First scenario: what the train would look like if you had to travel with the person you don’t choose?
  • Second scenario: what the train would look like if you had to travel with the person you choose?

Facilitator can lead the groups by asking the young people to play opposite scenarios on purpose, e.g., show the best possible outcome of the people you would not want to share the compartment with.

They have 10min to prepare the scenarios

Step 4: In plenary, ask each group to present their scenario to the group with the help of a support/material if they wish not to do a roleplay: video for example. The storytelling must last 5minutes max. In the stories we need to identify the reasons of their choices, the stereotypes they identify.

When a group finish a scenario ask the whole group:

  • Which character have you identify?
  • Which stereotypes?

Step 5 – when everyone has shown their scenarios and back in plenary, reflection part:

  • How realistic are the situations presented?
  • Did any of the group members experience a similar situation?
  • What were the main determining factors for your individual decisions?
  • Why did you represent this person like you did? Where comes from this idea?
  • What was most difficult? What factors prevented you from to reach a consensus?
  • What stereotypes does the passenger list convey? Are they stereotypes or are they a figment of your minds and imagination? Where do these images come from?
  • How would you feel if no one wanted to share your compartment?

Then, the aim is to introduce the concept of stereotypes and prejudice to the whole groups. The facilitation must explain and define the terms.

Consider that the list included is very long and, as such, it will be very difficult for the groups to agree on a common choice. Therefore, you may need to spend more time working individually and in groups.

If you wish, you can reduce this list to 10-14 passengers, and adapt it to the group’s local or national situation. It is very important that the list include portraits of minority representatives known to the group members, as well as “invisible” minorities, such as homosexuals disabled, HIV-positive, etc.

In many cases, groups will not come up with a common list. Do not insist on this aspect of the activity, as it may lead to a consensus. In fact, it is also interesting to consider why. It is important that everyone respects each other’s opinions and that no one judge anyone for their point of views. If certain choices seem questionable, it is better to discuss the reasons for them, rather than questioning a personal decision. In fact, both you and the participants will be in a difficult situation: It is very easy to turn this session into a trial! That’s why you need to be careful not to let the discussion revolve around the question “Who is less prejudiced?”, but make sure to work on the fact that we all have biases and stereotypes.

It is also important to discuss and explore the fact that the description of the passengers is very brief and that we know little about their personalities or their background. But isn’t this the way we usually react to newspapers and television, in conversations or when people meet for the first time?

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