LIFE SKILLS



LIFE SKILLS

FREE Life Skills Activity Sessions

Self Awareness: My Place on the Tree
Purpose of activity: To develop children's self-awareness about their present lives.

Life skills: Self-awareness, critical thinking, creative thinking

Important points: Try to ask the children to think deeply about their place on the tree and to find reasons for their choices. If children find this difficult, do not worry but note what the children feel or do not feel able to say. The activity can be repeated in Part 3 when children have improved their communication skills. If some children do not want to speak in the group, do not force them, but let them think about their ideas and if possible talk about their ideas to one friend.

Materials
A copy of the tree picture on a large poster for all the children to see
Self Awarness: my place on the tree diagram

 Page48023_resized 

Steps

1. Show the children the picture and explain that the tree represents life. The people on the tree are at different stages of their lives. They are doing different things for different reasons.

2. Ask the children to think of a well-known character in your country, for example a famous sports star, a character from a folktale or a famous person. Perhaps this person feels like the person at the top of the tree because he looks sure of himself and powerful. She is smiling at everyone below her. She is pleased with her position! Ask the children which figure in the picture is like the famous person. (The children will probably have different ideas and different reasons – that's fine).

3. Show the children the figure(s) on the tree which show where you feel you are in life today. Explain the reasons for your choice.
For example: I feel I am like the person doing a handstand halfway up the tree with one hand off the branch. I feel like this because I am feeling full of energy and I feel I am doing something a bit different today by starting this life skills work with you. I am not sure if it will be fun or a bit risky!

4. Ask the children to choose one figure that is closest to themselves.

5. In pairs or small groups, children discuss why they identified with a particular figure. For example…

I feel like I am at the bottom of the tree waving and looking happy because I am just beginning the life skills (so I am at the bottom of the tree). I am looking happy because I hope the class will help me and I am waving at my friends who will be with me.
Final discussion:

Do we feel like different people on the tree at different times of the day or week? Were you happy to tell us about your figure? Why/Why not?
Communication: Negotiation
Purpose of activity: To identify negotiating skills and methods to bring about a change.

Life skills: Communication & interpersonal relationships, self-awareness, critical thinking.

Important points: Negotiations are more difficult when you are talking with someone with more power. They can use that power to threaten or silence you or to ignore you. It can be useful to look for go- betweens (an uncle, an older friend etc) who have similar power.

 
Materials

A chart showing symbols for the six steps in negotiation
Communication: Negotiation diagram

 Page70036_resized

Steps

1. Explain that negotiation involves putting yourself in the place of the other person and understanding their point of view. This is good for several reasons:

  • It means you appreciate and respect the other person’s point of view. This reduces the risk that you will say something that causes conflict and hurt.
  • If you recognise the other person’s point of view, they will become more willing to recognise yours
  • Good negotiation should result in both people gaining something.

2. Explain there are six steps in negotiation:

  • Say what you feel using I statements
  • Listen to what the other person has to say to find out what they need or want
  • Tell the person what you understood, so you are sure you understood it.
  • Together, think of as many ideas as possible that may bring a solution to the problem.
  • Agree on a solution
  • Try it. If it doesn't work, start again!
Remember that sometimes you have to compromise.

3. Divide children into pairs and ask them to practice negotiating using one of the following situations. (Adapt these ideas to suit the experiences of your group but try to include some more simple situations an done or two serious ones.)

  • Your friend plays music loudly when you are trying to do your homework. He says it helps him concentrate.
  • A group of children tease you for attending life skills sessions. They call you 'the AIDS guy' and pay no attention when you want to share your ideas with them.
  • Your partner wants to have sex but you don't think you are ready yet.
  • There is a new teacher who thinks that the only way to establish his authority is to shout at the students as much as possible.
  • Your father is often drunk and then he shouts at your mother.

4. After the pairs have practised, they demonstrate their role-plays. Encourage the group to make recommendations and act out different options. Encourage children to be realistic: often the powerful person will not accept ideas even if the reasons are good.
Final discussion:
  • How easy was it to negotiate in these situations? How do the negotiations change when you are negotiating with someone in authority? Or with a group of people?
  • Do negotiations always work? If they don't, what else can you do?

Behaviour that hurts: what makes me angry?

Purpose of activity: To help children understand how anger begins.

Life skills: Self-awareness, critical thinking, creative thinking, coping with stress and emotion, communication and inter-personal relationships.

Important points: What makes people angry differs from person to person. People need to understand what makes them angry and can learn to control their anger.

 Materials
Large sheets of paper, Marker pens or crayons

Steps
1. Divide group into groups of five or six.

2. Ask each group to sit in a circle. Begin the activity by saying the phrase…'Mr Nje gets angry when someone calls him stupid names'. Ask one child in the circle to repeat this phrase and add another reason why Mr Nje asks angry. The next child in the circle repeats these two and adds another and so on until all the children in the circle have added a reason. (This is an adaptation of a memory game!).
Other 'anger' ideas are:

  • when someone shouts at him
  • when someone steals something from him
  • when people ignore him
  • when someone pushes into him on the

3. Ask children to think back to the last time they got angry. In pairs, ask them to describe this to a friend without saying names and without saying what happened when they got angry, like this: I got angry yesterday when someone pointed at me and laughed at my clothes.

4. Ask each child to describe their partner’s reason for getting angry. Write these on a flip chart. If an idea is repeated, do not write it twice but put a tick next to the first reason.

5. Ask children to think of the two reasons that that mad them the angriest. Each child comes up to the list and (with the help of the educator if necessary), places a tick beside each of their two top reasons.

What Makes me angry?
Examples from a group of working children in Delhi…
  • When I cannot sell my coconuts
  • When my mum hits me
  • When I don’t have time to play, as I have to spend all my time working
  • When I have too much work
  • When someone beats you
  • When someone harasses us while we are working
  • When someone teases you or uses bad language
  • When I don’t want to work but I have too
  • When someone steals the materials we have collected for selling
Final discussion:
Is there anyone that does not ask angry? Can you solve problems well when you are angry? What is good about being angry? What is bad about it?

 

Monitoring and Evaluating Life Skills 15/15: TOOLS TO STIMULATE DISCUSSION

For those of you conducting life skills activities or life skills training with young people or adult facilitators. Here is the last of my series of 15 weekly posts onMonitoring and Evaluating Life Skills. Each of them are extracted from the Toolkit I developed for the Jacobs Foundation with the help of many of their field partners and which you can download for FREE by clicking here. Please find the Lifeskills Toolkit half way down the page under the heading, Intervention and Application. If you wish to have a hard (printed) copy please contact me with a short description of your work and why you would like the hard copy.  As always please comment on these posts and let's get a conversation going!

In the 'tools' download you will find lost of explanations and discussions about the different types of evaluation tools like structured and semi-structured interviews, role plays, surveys and types of survey questions. Also set out are some more qualitative methods like draw and write. In addition, there are twelve activities to engage children and young people and to stimulate discussion and information. Young people can feel uncomfortable in a formal interview or even a focus group discussion. A creative activity can helps to get their attention and focus and stimulate opinions. The informal chatting that happens during a creative activity acts as 'warm up' and often results in deep and interesting reflections at the end of the activity. To give you a sense of the contents here is the list of activities:
1.    CD Covers
2.    Collage
3.    Shields
4.    Masks
5.    The Most Significant Story 
6.    Speech bubbles
7.    Picture This
8.    Builder
9.    Draw and write 
10.    Moving Circles
11.    Image Theatre
12.    Fill in the blanks

For step by step explanations on how to conduct each activity and for examples how some of  the partners of the Jacobs Foundation have used these download the full version of the toolkit here.

Monitoring and Evaluating Life Skills 14/15: COMMUNICATING THE RESULTS OF YOUR EVALUATION

For those of you conducting life skills activities or life skills training with young people or adult facilitators. Here is 14 of 15 weekly posts on Monitoring and Evaluating Life Skills. Each of them are extracted from the Toolkit I developed for the Jacobs Foundation with the help of many of their field partners and which you can download for FREE by clicking here. Please find the Lifeskills Toolkit half way down the page under the heading, Intervention and Application. If you wish to have a hard (printed) copy please contact me with a short description of your work and why you would like the hard copy.  As always please comment on these posts and let's get a conversation going!

The toolkit sets out 12 steps for planning and implementing your project evaluation. In practice, the steps may not always flow from one to another. There will be some movement  backwards and forwards and there may be a need to add to, take away from or change the order of steps. Each evaluation works differently as each evaluation and each project has its own unique purpose. The crucial thing is to plan evaluations which are useful, enjoyable and realistic given the amount of time and resources for the project and the expertise of those involved.  Where it is helpful, an example is set out in shaded boxes below the general points for each step.  Here is more  on the last step, Step 12.


Step Twelve: COMMUNICATE

The final step is COMMUNICATE THE RESULTS of your evaluation. This may be in a report or a presentation or both. Evaluation is hard work involving the effort of many people. Time needs to be set aside to communicate and deal with the results internally and externally. Positive aspects of evaluation need to be recognised and rewarded, more challenging aspects built into new planning or training activities.  It’s important to ensure there are enough resources to communicate the results and make best use of the results as the project goes forward.
The most important people to report to are the young people who took part in their evaluation and explaining what will be the outcome of the results irrespective of whether the results are positive or not. This demonstrates your respect for the young people, gives them an opportunity to comment on the results and maximizes the chances of their cooperation for future evaluation. Failing to feedback properly can lead to their reluctance to participate in future evaluation activities.  Depending on the style of your report, you can develop a version specifically for young people that you can give to them.
Although this is the last step in the planning process, there is one more post to give you an overview of M&E tools and 12 tools to stimulate discussions wiht children and young people.

Monitoring and Evaluating Life Skills 13/15: WRITE UP THE RESULTS OF YOUR EVALUATION

For those of you conducting life skills activities or life skills training with young people or adult facilitators. Here is number 13 of 15 weekly posts onMonitoring and Evaluating Life Skills. Each of them are extracted from the Toolkit I developed for the Jacobs Foundation with the help of many of their field partners and which you can download for FREE by clicking here. Please find the Lifeskills Toolkit half way down the page under the heading, Intervention and Application. If you wish to have a hard (printed) copy please contact me with a short description of your work and why you would like the hard copy.  As always please comment on these posts and let's get a conversation going!

The toolkit sets out 12 steps for planning and implementing your project evaluation. In practice, the steps may not always flow from one to another. There will be some movement  backwards and forwards and there may be a need to add to, take away from or change the order of steps. Each evaluation works differently as each evaluation and each project has its own unique purpose. The crucial thing is to plan evaluations which are useful, enjoyable and realistic given the amount of time and resources for the project and the expertise of those involved.  Where it is helpful, an example is set out in shaded boxes below the general points for each step.  Here is more on Step 11. As there is a holiday for Christmas the final two installments in this series will be posted on January 3rd and January 10th.

Step 11
Developing and presenting a written evaluation report gives an opportunity for others such as funding agencies, officials, researchers and other staff to learn from the evaluation. Before you decide to write a report, think about how you communicate in your organisations. Match  your reporting style with this you may not need a written report!

Here is an outline for the type of information that is usually included in a written evaluation report. This may be too long a document for your purpose. Adapt it to match our needs.

A Sample Outline of an Evaluation Report

1. Title page
  • Name of report;
  • Name and address of the project;
  • Time period covered by the project evaluation;
  • The date the report was completed; and
  • The name of the authors of the report.

2. Summary
This is really important as many people will only red the summary! It is easier to write the summary AFTER the rest of the report has been finished. It usually contains

  • The purpose of the evaluation;
  • A very brief description of the project (3-4 sentences); 
  • Who carried out the evaluation and how it was done;
  • Important results;
  • Important conclusions; and
  • All the recommendations.
3. Table of contents
4. Description of the project (history, aims, objectives, target group)
5. Description of the evaluation process and methods
6. Results
7. Conclusions and recommendations

8. Appendices:
  • A list of people involved in the evaluation e.g. officials and young people (if this is appropriate to identify them);
  • Examples of the tools and recording methods/charts you used;
  • Examples of tables and diagrams; and
  • Lists of other documents and references used.

Monitoring and Evaluating Life Skills 12/15: DATA ANALYSIS

For those of you conducting life skills activities or life skills training with young people or adult facilitators. Here is number 12 of 15 weekly posts on Monitoring and Evaluating Life Skills. Each of them are extracted from the Toolkit I developed for the Jacobs Foundation with the help of many of their field partners and which you can download for FREE by clicking here. Please find the Lifeskills Toolkit half way down the page under the heading, Intervention and Application. If you wish to have a hard (printed) copy please contact me with a short description of your work and why you would like the hard copy.  As always please comment on these posts and let's get a conversation going!

The toolkit sets out 12 steps for planning and implementing your project evaluation. In practice, the steps may not always flow from one to another. There will be some movement  backwards and forwards and there may be a need to add to, take away from or change the order of steps. Each evaluation works differently as each evaluation and each project has its own unique purpose. The crucial thing is to plan evaluations which are useful, enjoyable and realistic given the amount of time and resources for the project and the expertise of those involved.  Where it is helpful, an example is set out in shaded boxes below the general points for each step.  Here is more on step 10. This is a long section in the toolkit and this extract is just the outline of what you can find in the full version.


Step TEN: ANALYSE


Now that the information has been assembled, cleaned and organized, it is now DATA. The penultimate step in planning your evaluation is to consider how you will ANALYSE the data. You need to remind yourselves of the purpose of the evaluation. There is nearly always more data generated in the monitoring and evaluation activities than you need. So be clear on what you do need and stick to this!  If possible, give yourself the scope to look for the unexpected too.


The same data can be analysed in many different ways and at different levels of complexity. How you do it is linked to the time you have available and the purpose of the evaluation. Remember if you have good data which is well organised you can go back to it and analyse it more deeply and for different purposes later when you have more time! 

Here are some simple steps to use to undertake data analysis. There are many ways to do it and so this is not THE way but it is A way to bring together and understand and explain data. If your project or organisation already has set out a way to do this then use the methods that are familiar. 

Remind yourself of the aims of the evaluation and the objectives of the specific activity that generated the data you will analyse

  • Get familiar with the data to begin the process of abstraction and conceptualisation.
  • Create some kind of chart (sometimes called a thematic framework) that sets out the issues arising from the themes you have noted and the sub themes. 
  • Using the themes and sub themes to guide you, look again at the details of the data. Undertake data analysis activities. Select the activities that are relevant to the type of data you have. Start with what feels simple and build from there.  For example: Make a note of the frequency of the data (how often a piece of information occurs or is said). You can colour code the notes or make a coloured dot beside each piece of data to show where the data came from (if you have different sources). This part of the process is sometimes called indexing. 
  • The next step and the one which is the most difficult to describe is where you interpret the data. This process is about looking for patterns, connections, links and explanations. You search for a structure to explain what you have found. It is not mechanical step it requires your intuition and imagination. You will be illuminating young people’s attitudes, experiences and behaviour. You seek to address the questions that began the evaluation process. 
  • The final step to analysis is to formulate what you have found out as conclusions and set out specific strategies for change, improvements or simply a scaling up of something that you find is working well!  These strategies will often be expressed in an evaluation report as, ‘recommendations’.  Also, there may be one-off pieces of information or quotes that are powerful but that do not fit into a pattern. Include these in a summary but resist making a general point from this type of information.
For much more on this section and for a worked through example download the full version of the toolkit.

2 comments:

  1. LOOK AT THIS LINK
    http://www.skillsconverged.com/FreeTrainingMaterials/tabid/258/articleType/CategoryView/categoryId/114/Decision-Making.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  2. this is really great but i want to know about the process of decision making in life skill . please give me information about it .

    ReplyDelete