People and things

Increase awareness of power in relationships.

What you will need

You will need...

Timing: 20mins

  • A group, preferably with equal numbers
  • A room with a bit of space to move around
  • Timer


Start by...

Divide everyone into two equal groups. Line up in two rows facing each other over an imaginary line. One side are the 'People' the other side are the 'Things'.

The people have to give instructions to the things. The things must obey without question. Things cannot think, feel or make decisions. People can do all of those things and tell 'things' what to do.

Middle bit...

Allow this to run for two minutes. Pay attention to dynamics and how those that are 'things' are feeling.

End by...

Ask each group to share how it felt to either be giving the instructions, or to not be allowed to think, feel or make decisions. Think about some of these points:

  • Are there relationships or situations they can think of where people are treated like 'things'?
  • Is there anyone they treat like a 'thing' - if so, why?
  • If it doesn't feel good, why does it happen?
  • Who in Scotland has power over others? Is this right and can we change it?
  • As a thing, are you completely powerless, or would you resort to doing certain things - like being violent?
  • Is violence ever a way of claiming back power?

There are links to a BBC bitesize article and video about power and relationships if you want to explore this topic further with the group.

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