topic four – within groups
to the teacher
Friendships can often be exclusive with some people 'in' and some
'out'. The following class exercise is designed to help pupils to
see what happens when some are treated unfairly; how they feel;
the problems which arise and how to solve them.
Have enough wrapped sweets or biscuits for all but four of the
class to have one each.
(Different issues will arise according to whether you choose sweets
which are indivisible or biscuits which could be shared.)
Invite the class to come up and help themselves to one each.
When they have returned to their places ask them
• Who does not have a sweet/biscuit?
• Why were they the ones who went without?
• What do they feel about it?
• Who do they blame for their misfortune? Why?
Ask them to divide into four groups to discuss the situation and
what solution can be found. Do not specify the size or make-up of
After a few minutes stop the group discussion and ask for their
Were the 'four' included in the groups?
Was there any group which did not include one of the 'four'? If
so, did they discuss the feelings of being left out or did they
think it was someone else's problem? Why?
Change the situation being discussed to a plate of imaginary £5
What do the 'four' now feel? Why?
Does it make any difference to the others? Why?
If the 'four' seem to be finding the focus on them is too much,
shift it to one of the following:
a) 'pupil X' is left out when team captains are selecting their
b) one disco party invitation did not arrive until after the event.
After this discussion ask:
• Was there a problem in the first place? If so, for whom?
• What have they learned?
• What will they do differently in the future as a result
of this exercise?