Beyond a Single Story


Try this activity designed for Grade 7-12 classes in which students will explore the ways that intersecting identities can affect a person’s reality and quality of life. By considering the diverse viewpoints within a community, students will gain an understanding of the complexities of analyzing a community’s challenges and strengths. Each Community Case Study provided in this activity was created in partnership and solidarity with an international cooperation organization and its international partners.

Alternatively, once you have read through the Workshop Outline, choose one of the individual Case Studies below.

Grade 3: Now for 2030 Time Capsule

From February-June 2021, participating classes across Alberta wrote letters to the Grade 3 class of 2030 in their school, sharing their hopes and aspirations for the future. Then, they sent their letters to ACGC to be stored in our time capsule. On 25 September 2030, ACGC will open and share the letter, and will send it back to your school for the class of 2030 to read!  

ACGC closed the time capsule in June, 2021, but you can still complete the activity with your class. Download the classroom lesson and try it out!

Tackling Community Issues: Problem and Solution Trees

Learn how to plan a project in order to tackle the root causes of an issue!  In this facilitated workshop, ACGC will lead your class through a common method used by organizations when beginning to design a project to tackle an issue in their own community.  This activity is supports the development of core competencies as outlined in Alberta Education’s Guiding Framework.  Contact to arrange facilitation of this workshop in your class or community group!

Want to attempt the workshop yourself?  Download the supporting materials. 

Where will we be in 2030? Exploring the Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, world leaders gathered in New York City for the formal adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), replacing the expired Millennium Development Goals.  These goals are truly ambitious.  With 17 goals and 169 targets, the SDGs represent and unprecedented commitment by countries to end povery, combat climate change, and fight injustice and inequality.  In this workshop, participants will learn about these goals and discover their role in tackling the issues locally and globally, by 2030!.

Additional resource: Check out our SDG resources page!

Where do you stand? Examining Social Inequality

In order to address poverty, it is vital to first understand the underlying factors which create inequality in the first place.  Through this interactive activity, students will build empathy and understanding by walking through daily situations in someone else’s shoes.  As a follow-up, participants will brainstorm ways to build solidarity with others in order to begin to address the issues participants faced.

Creating a Just World:  Examining Charity and Social Justice

In this interactive workshop, youth will discover the difference between a charitable and a social justice approach to development, exploring these ideas through analysing and re-designing an action project recently promoted in a local community paper.

Additional resource:  Explore the issue deeper through this Oppression and Privilege Framework

#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou: Examining the Power of Media

Why did this hashtag bombard Twittersphere last year? What message are twitter activists trying to counter?  In this workshop, participants will begin to identify and analyse harmful stereotypes of people in developing countries often portrayed in media, and learn how to take steps to avoid similar mistakes when developing messages for their own campaigns.

Additional resource:  Ethical Images in French and English

Travelling Abroad with Youth: Sample Program Activities 

Will you be travelling abroad to a developing country as part of an international service-learning trip or volunteer program?  ACGC has compiled a document of sample activities to do with your group both before going abroad and upon your return. Activities contained in this document are samples of activities used by ACGC as part of our Change Your World Leadership tour since 2010.

Resilience Checklist and Plan of Action:  Coping with going abroad, being away from family, friends, and familiar environment can be very difficult.  Developing resilience, or the ‘capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’, can help you cope with hard times you will encounter.  This document lists some factors that help ensure resilience, and help ‘protect’ you when you experience difficulties while abroad.

Redland, Blueland, Orangeland:  This icebreaker is a fun activity simulating what may happen when people from different cultural backgrounds meet for the first time!

Market Exchange:  In this simulated activity, groups work together to barter and trade resources in order to sell crowns at a market, while struggling to understanding language and cultural norms.

Understanding and Addressing Culture Shock:  This handout briefly outlines culture shock and reverse culture shock, while outlining the ‘HEART’ method of helping someone cope.

Want more activities and examples?  Download more examples!