1. Knowledge of global social justice issues

Learner outcome

Knowledge of global social justice issues


Getting started with global issues – Our class stands for 100 per cent

Duration 45 minutes
Room requirements Desks should be moved to the sides of the room to make a clear space for the activity. Learners need to move around the room. There should be one chair for each learner.
Learning aim
  •  Young people develop their understanding of social, political and civic issues in local, national and global contexts
  • Young people understand the importance of playing an active part in democratic processes and understand different forms of political engagement
Step by step description of the activity
0.00 1. Write the names of the six continents on six large pieces of paper and put them on the floor around the room. The continents are:
North America
South America
5.00 2. World population: Learners represent the population of the world, with each of them a precise percentage (for example, if there are ten learners, each person represents 10 per cent). Following a brief time for discussion ask learners to arrange themselves so that they stand by the continents in a way that reflects the population numbers living there.
When the learners are finished, show them the real percentages and ask them to reposition themselves if this is possible. The statistics are approximates based on data for 2013.

Africa – 16%
North America – 8%
South America – 6%
Asia – 57%
Europe – 11%
Oceania – 1%


What conclusions can you make?

3. Gross domestic product (GDP): Ask the learners if they know what gross domestic product (GDP) is. Explain it to them if they don’t (it refers to the total value of goods produced and services provided in a place – usually a country but we are going to look at continents here). Ask each learner to take a chair, telling them that the chairs represent GDP. Ask them to place the chairs by each continent in a way that reflects that continent’s GDP relative to the rest of the world. For example, if the learners believe that Asia has the half of world GDP, they should place half of the chairs by the piece of paper representing Asia. When they have reached an agreement, they return to the continents they stood by in the population exercise. Again, correct the mistakes by placing the chairs in the right positions.

Again, these statistics, provided by the International Monetary Fund, are from 2013.
Africa US$ 2.6 trillion
North America US$ 20.3 trillion
South America US$ 4.2 trillion
Asia US$ 18.5 trillion
Europe US$ 24.4 trillion
Oceania US$ 1.8 trillion


Afterwards the learners are asked to sit on the chairs allocated to their continent. What are their reactions to this?
4. World hunger: Ask learners if they know how many people in the world are hungry. What do they think hunger is? How many meals and snacks do they eat each day? How long does it take before they feel hungry? Explain that the official definition of hunger is not having enough to eat to meet minimum energy requirements – and that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that about 795 million people in the world today are hungry according to this definition.
Learners have to decide how many people (in millions) are hungry on each continent, and write the number down on a sticky note (they could do this individually or in their continental groups). Alternatively they could decide what percentage of the population of each continent are hungry. They then have to place their sticky notes by the various continents.
Latest FAO estimates are as follows:

  • Africa: 233 million (20% of the population)
  • Asia: 512 million (12.1% of the population)
  • North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand combined: 15 million (1% of the population)  – please note that this is a composite figure across all of these regions – it may be higher or lower in each of the countries that make up this total
  • South America: 34 million (5.5% of the population)
  • Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand): 1 million (14.2% of the population)
 35.00 Correct their answers and ask additional questions like:
  • Who are the people who suffer most?
  • What surprised you most?
  • What didn't you know before?
Materials Six large pieces of paper, marker pen (for teacher), felt tip pens for learners, sticky notes, one chair for each learner
Comments Full description and introduction in Polish can be found here:
GDP worldwide can be checked here:
The State of Food Insecurity in the World:
World population:


Learner outcome

Knowledge of global social justice issues

Evaluation activity for outcome:


Assessment criteria (these statements are written in the first person but could be used for teacher assessment of learners as well as for self-assessment by learners)
Early Developing Secure
I have an interest in global issues.

I know something about one or two global social justice issues.

I understand how these issues relate to me.

I understand some of the causes and effects of inequality within and between societies.

I have begun to explore the complexity of one or two global social justice issues.

I understand how these issues relate to me.

I can explain the causes and effects of inequality within and between societies.

I have knowledge of a range of global social justice issues and some understanding of their complexity, including connections between issues.

I understand how these issues relate to me.

DURATION 45 minutes
Evaluation activity description (step by step)
  • Identify a space in the classroom where learners can stand in a line or a U-shape.
  • Place “Strongly Agree” and “Strongly Disagree” signs at opposite ends of a continuum in your room. Or you can post any statement at one end of the line and its opposite at the other end.
  • Give learners a few minutes to reflect on a particular statement from the training aids box for this activity that calls for agreement or disagreement.
  • Ask learners to stand at the point on the line that represents their opinion – telling them that if they stand at either end they are absolute in their agreement or disagreement. They may stand anywhere in between the two ends, depending on how much they do or do not agree with the statement. Learners might find themselves bunched up in places, but this does not matter. Encourage them to talk to nearby learners about why they have chosen that particular spot and to place themselves accordingly.
  • Once learners have chosen their places, ask them to explain to the group why they have chosen to stand where they are standing. Encourage them to refer to evidence and examples when defending their stance. Some learners might want to change their position as the discussion proceeds.
  • Repeat this exercise with other evaluative statements such as those in the training aids box.
Materials Markers, two large pieces of paper or card, string to mark the line, and either blue tack, white tack or drawing pins for putting the signs up
Training aids Examples of statements:
  • I have influence on what life on earth looks like.
  • I am interested in global issues.
  • Everyone has equal ability to make changes in the world.
  • Global issues affect my life.