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A workshop series of the Dragonfly programme on the rights of the child funded by EEA/Norway Grants. Translated by Grafium Ltd. | Liget Műhely Alapítvány, 2016


MAGIC SCEPTRE Description Dragonfly, an educational programme for primary school children started in 2008 and it has co-operated with over 300 schools in Hungary, and Hungarian-speaking institutions in Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Slovenia and Serbia reaching several thousands of teachers and over 30 000 students each year. The main goal is to provide schools with a visually attractive literary and ecological children’s magazine for free and instructing the teachers about how to use it in their everyday work. The programme’s website provides over 3800 different auxiliary materials, and children and teachers have the opportunity to take part in various creative competitions and tenders. Dragonfly magazine is unique not only because it is exquisitely designed and contains well-written, funny and motivating poems, tales and articles that accommodate the special interest of primary school children, but it is unique because of its complexity in content and purpose. It is outstanding because it combines the advantages of a colourful magazine with the educational materials of a schoolbook. There are no similar children’s magazines in Hungary. Within the framework of a children’s rights project MAGIC SCEPTRE, funded by an EEA/Norway NGO Fund small grant, we implemented a series of workshops with the participation of primary school pupils, teenagers, parents, teachers and representatives of local NGOs, where playful activities took place and issues related to children’s rights were discussed.




Vocabulary building – warm-up exercise 1. Students stand in a circle, one stands in the middle. 2. Two students count the words, the trainer or another student measures the time. The students choose a letter / sound of the alphabet. 3. The student in the middle has to utter words starting with a given letter / sound while turning around and pointing at the students in the circle. It is important to find and keep a rhythm and with each and every word to point at the next person. S/he can say compound words or a word starting with the same stem or prefix, but they do not count as separate and would mean no extra points. The student in the middle has one minute to say as many words as s/he can think of. The trainer must warn the others not to disturb the student in the middle by giving hints or pointing out mistakes. They must remain silent for a minute. 4. After each round the trainer asks the student in the middle how (s)he s/he felt during the exercise, what was difficult and whether the rhythmic movements helped. 5. The exercise goes on till 6–8 students had a chance to stand in the middle.

- key competence: native language communication - time: 15 minutes - required materials: – - applicable: school lesson, extracurricular - number of participants: 16 POINTER: If there are more participants, two circles can be formed and the students can work simultaneously.

The exercise can be varied by choosing the parts of speech or theme of the words we want to hear. It is an ideal game to introduce a new topic. It can be used to improve the foreign language competence of an advanced group.

Telling a story together 1. The trainer draws a chart on the board, with the columns titled good character / evil character / scene / helper/ tool. 2. The trainer asks the students to give examples from fairy








tales they know and together they complete the chart. (It is enough to give 5-6 examples for each column.) The trainer starts a story and after a few sentences any of the students can continue by adding their own sentences. They can use the examples in the chart to help them, but it is not obligatory. The trainer continues again by adding 2-3 sentences and then asks another student to continue. The students must be encouraged to use their imagination freely, to remix well-known elements, characters, to change the stereotypes and make the exercise funny, e.g. “The princess bit off the prince’s head so that eventually she could marry the dragon.” It is important to watch that the story should remain logical and well-structured. We should not forget any of the characters and all story lines must be finished. The trainer can call the students’ attention to any logical faults by asking questions, e.g. “If the prince bit off the dragon’s head how can the poor dragon marry the princess?” If the trainer feels that the fun of the exercise is wearing off, s/he asks the students to finish the story in three sentences. These three sentences must conclude the fate of all the characters and can be made up by the same or three different students. In the end the trainer asks the students to sum up the story quickly and asks which the best / funniest / most surprising parts were and why.

key competence: native language communication time: 20 minutes required materials: – applicable: school lesson, extracurricular number of participants: 16

POINTER: The instructor can help by stopping the story in midsentences, e.g. “and suddenly he saw a…” or “he stepped into a…” or “at that moment she called to mind that…”.

Depending on the aim of the exercise the trainer can decide how much s/he wants to influence the story. If s/he wants to practise story analysis, it is a good idea to include well-known elements of stories. If s/he wants to focus on team building or conflict analysis, it is advisable to turn the story line in that direction (but the real name of the students or a too direct reference to their conflict is not a good idea). If s/he wants to discuss environmental problems, the characters can act ecologically or they can act as if they did something harmful to the environment. If s/he wants to build the students’ vocabulary, it is important to draw up a chart rich with linguistically diverse words (e.g. dialects) that students can use to help them during the exercise.



Reading out a poem together 1. The trainer should choose a short, rhythmic poem. All students should have a copy of the text. 2. The trainer gives a not too quick rhythm by rapping a pencil. 3. Each student matches the rhythm by rapping their own pencil. When everybody has the rhythm together they read out the poem in the given rhythm. Pauses must be emphasised to give meaning. 4. The students read out the lines of the poem one by one. Together they decide the order and if there aren’t enough lines, they can start from the beginning of the poem until everybody had their turn.

key competence: native language communication time: 10 minutes required materials: – applicable: school lesson, extracurricular number of participants: 16

Making a poster together

1. The trainer forms groups of 4–5 students. 2. Together they discuss how they are similar or different in their inner and outer characteristics. 3. Each group gets a big sheet of clean wrapping paper and a box of coloured markers. 4. They put the sheet of paper on the floor, one student lies down on it and they draw his or her outline. 5. The groups have 10 minutes to fill the outline by drawing or writing inner or outer characteristics. Each group member must be represented by at least one characteristics. 6. The groups elect a spokesperson who presents the poster to the others and explains which details belongs to whom.

key competence: social, cultural expression time: 20–25 minutes required materials: accessible applicable: school lesson, extracurricular number of participants: 30

POINTER: Participants should be encouraged to draw or write as they wish, using free associations. The trainer should walk around and make sure all members of the groups participate. If some students are reluctant, the time frame can be shortened to encourage full cooperation.

Depending on the aim of the exercise it can be varied how to present historical or fairy tale characters, or the dramatis personae of their obligatory reading material. If the trainer wants to discuss the flora and fauna of a certain habitat, a big circle can be drawn on the sheet of paper at the beginning.



Association with pictures 1. The trainer forms groups of 4–5 students. 2. They discuss the basic physical needs (e.g. food, water, sleep, physical exercise), the basic spiritual needs (e.g. love, home, safety) of / for… (what??). 3. Each group gets three picture cards with various images of objects, people and ideas that can be understood diversely (e.g. chocolate, friends, home, deodorant, love, a glass of water). It is acceptable if students attach different meanings / associations to the same image or if they do not think of the meaning that the trainer planned to begin with. 4. The students have to decide whether their picture cards show something that is a basic physical need, a basic spiritual need or something that is nice to have but we can live without. 5. The trainer asks the groups to raise the cards the pupils think would present a basic physical need. After a short discussion they move on to basic spiritual needs and the luxuries. 6. The trainer should call the students’ attention to cultural and social differences of what we deem to be a basic need or a luxury.

key competence: native language communication, natural sciences, social time: 15 minutes required materials: extra (coloured picture cards) applicable: school lesson, extracurricular number of participants: 30 POINTER: The instructor should encourage participants to interpret an image in different ways. E.g. An expensive skateboard can be a luxury item, but if it is taken to represent sports and physical activity, it can also be a basic need.

Depending on the aim of the exercise it can be varied by choosing different pictures. If the trainer wants to discuss environmental questions, the images can include e.g. bottles of water, air conditioning machines, pick-up trucks in the city and the group can discuss whether they can be substituted by e.g. tap water, a passive house or a bicycle.




The interactive workshop is based on the 2015/31 issue of the Dragonfly magazine that choose children’s rights as its main topic. The goal of the playful workshop was to help students recognise and express their rights with their own words.


15' 15' 20' 15' 20'



Magic Sceptre key competence: native language communication

Students read the short poem Sceptre by Anna Somfai. ( The trainer asks questions:

time: 15 minutes

- What is a sceptre? Who has a sceptre usually?

required materials: available (Dragonfly magazine)

- What is the connection between a sceptre and human rights? - Look at the lines of the poem. Each line represents a right. Can you say which line is about which right? Where it is not clear (e.g. “I have got a right to the blue”) you can use your imagination. What is blue? (E.g. the sky representing freedom or clean air)

applicable: school lesson number of participants: 30

- Which rights do you think are not represented in the poem?

Acquiring information with the jigsaw classroom method 1. The students form 5 groups and sit around a table. Each group should have at least as many members as the number of groups. The groups get a colour code (e.g. red, blue, yellow, purple or green). 2. The story is divided into as many parts as the number of groups. The various text parts are printed on separate sheets of paper.

key competence: native language communication, social time: 15 minutes required materials: available



3. The students of each group get a number from 1 to 5. If there are more students, one group can have two members with the same number. We ask all participants with the number 1 to sit in the red group, all students with number 2 in the blue group, etc. 4. When they are seated we give each colour group one part of the story. The students can memorize the details for two minutes, but they cannot take notes. The trainer should emphasise that it will be their individual responsibility to remember the details, as no other member of their group can read this part of the story. 5. After two minutes the students return to their original place and group and tell the others what they can remember. The group collects all the details and tries to put the jigsaw together and understand the story. 6. The trainer can help the groups by asking questions, e.g. How many characters were there in the story? 7. Together the students discuss the story and with the help of the trainer try to point out how it is connected to the topic of children’s rights (e.g. the right to information, the right to express opinion). The trainer calls the students’ attention to the responsibility of acquiring and sharing information.

applicable: school lesson, extracurricular number of participants: 25

POINTER: The trainer should take into consideration the age and reading skills of the target group when preparing the text. If it is too easy, it will lack challenge, but if it is too difficult, the sense of achievement might be in danger. The sentences do not necessarily have to form a coherent, continuous story, they can be utterances of the various characters that contain important information.

Sentences - Don’t tell the children, but my opinion has somewhat changed about these technogadgets. - Mom told me it was good of you not to listen to Dad in this case. - Dad insisted that he should lead the trip and he should tell them which way to go. - Eve was somewhat offended that Dad did not believe her. - Eve won second place at the national geographical orienteering competition. - Tom got a smartphone for his birthday and it has a GPS application as well. - With the children’s help they eventually arrived at the rest house. - Don’t worry, the children can pack their own bags! After breakfast they accepted Eve’s proposal that they should choose a path they have not tried before. - You know Dad doesn’t like it when you bring your techno gadgets to the forest trip. - If we turn right here, we will reach the trail with the blue symbol



in 2 kilometres. - The GPS of my smartphone shows that we are going in the opposite direction.

The efficiency of the jigsaw classroom method can be enhanced if the content of the text we use is closely connected to our topic. Instructions must be clear and unambiguous to co-ordinate the movements of the participants. The exercise might fail if there is not enough room to move around, if we do not know the number of participants in advance and we cannot prepare the exact number of cards we need.

Look at me! The above described exercise, Making a poster together, can be slightly modified if we start the exercise with discussing the different rights of children and adults, e.g. Children are not allowed to drive a car, but in Hungary they have the right to study for free until they are 16 years old. It is important to point out that both adults and children are similar in that they have the same basic human rights.

key competence: social, cultural expression time: 20–25 minutes required materials: accessible (large sheets of paper, coloured markers) applicable: school lesson, extracurricular

We ask the participants to make their poster by drawing or writing the most interesting / respected / loveable inner or outer characteristics of other members in their group.

number of participants: 30

When the spokesperson of the groups present the posters, we all give a huge ovation to each group.

I have the right

key competence: native language communication, natural sciences, social

The above described exercise Association with pictures can be slightly modified if after discussing the images the trainer asks the participants whether all the children in the world are provided with their basic physical and spiritual needs as it is in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. E.g.: Is clean drinking water available to all children? If not, why not? What happens if somebody has to drink polluted water? What can we personally do to help this worldwide

time: 15 minutes required materials: extra (coloured picture cards)



problem? Can we help people who live thousands of miles away? Can we do something else besides sending donations?

applicable: school lesson, extracurricular number of participants: 30


1. The participants work in groups of 4–6. 2. The trainer explains that the basic human rights can be imagined as a protecting bubble that surrounds each person. (The trainer can use gestures to imitate the bubble.) As people live their life they have to be careful when moving around so that they do not burst the bubbles of others. We have to keep in mind that our rights are only valid as long as we respect the rights of others. 3. The trainer asks the participants to give a few examples for this. If it is necessary, the trainer can help, e.g.: Listening to music is very nice, but if we listen to loud music in the middle of the night, we can disturb the people next door, disrespect our neighbours’ right to sleep. 4. The trainer hands out a packet of printed cards to each group with the rights and obligations. They have to match the pairs. 5. At the end the groups discuss the right solutions together and give an example for each obligation.

key competence: native language communication, social time: 20 minutes required materials: available (printed word cards, see below) applicable: school lesson, extracurricular number of participants: 30

Cards I have the right to express my opinion.

I cannot forbid anybody to express their opinion.

I have the right to practice my religion, mother tongue and cultural habits.

I am obliged to respect the religion, mother tongue and cultural habits of others.

I have the right to have a private life at home and away from my home.

Whatever I do, I cannot endanger myself and my peers.

Everybody must respect my

I am obliged to respect the



human right.

human rights of others.

I have the right to express myself orally or in writing.

I cannot violate the rights of others orally or in writing.

All children of school age have the right to study.

All children of school age must study.

I have the right to meet and befriend anybody I like.

I am obliged to respect the rights of others even when I am with my friends.

I have the right to a dignified existence.

I have to respect others. I cannot treat other human beings as objects, I cannot beat them or humiliate them.

I have the right of assembly with my peers or family.

All assemblies must be peaceful where human rights are respected.

Human beings cannot deprive each other of their freedom.

I have the right to be free.


Protect your rights!

1. The participants stay at their seats. The trainer explains that s/he will show a picture and participants will have 30 minutes to remember as many details of the picture as possible. 2. The trainer shows a colourful photo with lots of details (see picture below). Those who sit farther off or on the sides will not be able to see the picture well. 3. The trainer measures the time and after 30 seconds puts away the picture. If during that time some of the participants complain about not seeing it, the trainer should not pay attention or tell them that it would be discussed later. If any of the participants sitting in the front expresses discomfort with the arrangement, the trainer should keep that person in mind and at the end of the exercise praise him/her. 4. The trainer asks the participants what details they remember. Everybody can say one detail and if it is right, that pupil gets

key competence: native language communication, social time: 5 minutes required materials: available (coloured picture poster) applicable: school lesson, extracurricular number of participants: 30



a candy. The same detail cannot be repeated. The trainer should be deliberately unfair and pay attention to the participants sitting in the front while neglecting those sitting farther away. 5. After handing out 6-8 candies the trainer asks the participants if they are enjoying the exercise. By that time participants sitting father away are usually annoyed enough to complain loudly about how unfair the conditions were. The trainer then points out that we often have to face such injustice in our lives, because there are all sorts of inequalities. It is the duty of those who are better situated (in this case the people sitting in the front) to call society’s attention to the injustice. 6. The trainer asks those who already got a candy to walk around and offer candies to all the participants to show that we are all equal and it is much nicer to enjoy our candies together.


Topics for general discussion – If you had to work to earn your living like many poor children



around the world, what kind of work would you be able to do? – Why do you think it is important that children in poor, developing countries go to school? – Why do you think girls are much more often uneducated in developing countries? – If you had a box of 50×50×50 cm and you had to put everything in it that is really important for school studies, what objects would you choose?

Empathy building 1. Read the article about refugee children in the Dragonfly magazine. 2. Write down which countries refugee children come from to Europe. 3. Choose one of those countries. Use the Internet and learn what language(s) people speak there, what their religion is and why people decide to leave their homeland and become refugees. Is there a war, a civil war, an ecological catastrophe, severe poverty, oppression? 4. Imagine that you are a child living in that country. Choose a name that is popular there. Make up your background with your family living with all the problems of the given country. Think over what your parents do, where you live, whether you can go to school or have to work. Imagine how you would spend a day in such circumstances. 5. Imagine that your father tells you that you have to leave the country to survive. Your family has enough money to send only you to Europe, they cannot accompany you. What would you do? 6. If you decided to flee from your country what would you take with yourself? Remember that all you take you have to carry at all times during your journey. 7. Look at the world map. Find the country you chose. Calculate the distance and the time it would take a refugee to travel from there to Hungary. Remember that without the necessary documents one can only travel illegally, so refugees usually cannot travel by plane or international trains where there is passport control. Imagine what kind of hardships a refugee child would have to face.



The goddess of justice 1. Read the article about Justitia in the magazine! 2. Write down all the details you learnt about how the goddess was portrayed (eyes blindfolded, scales, sword, snake). 3. Make a picture of the goddess. Keep in mind the details you collected, but use your imagination and add other features you think would convey her role. 4. Check the illustration in the magazine. What are the differences between your picture and the photo of the statue? 5. Use the internet and search for gods/goddesses of justice in other cultures. Look at their description, specific features and images. Choose one and compare it to Justitia. 6. Try to explain why these gods/goddesses were popular in ancient times. Why do you think present-day courthouses still have paintings and statutes depicting these gods/goddesses?




Profile for LIGET Műhely Alapítvány

Magic Spectre | Dragonfly 2016  

A workshop series of the Dragonfly programme on the rights of the child funded by EEA/Norway Grants. | Translated by Grafium Ltd. [Liget Műh...

Magic Spectre | Dragonfly 2016  

A workshop series of the Dragonfly programme on the rights of the child funded by EEA/Norway Grants. | Translated by Grafium Ltd. [Liget Műh...

Profile for liget