Helping Hands

 

An activity that explores the ways that people support and help us in different parts of our lives.

KS2 | 30 Mins | Teacher led

KEY QUESTION: Who helps me? Who do I depend on in my life?

Background

This activity explores the day-to-day things we do in our lives and the help or support we get to do them. It aims to help learners recognise where help comes from in their lives and to question how their lives might be different without this help.
The same idea can be used to think about who they help. This is a good activity for exploring the important issue of interdependence.

Activity

1. Introduce learners to the idea of help and that we all get and give help in different ways throughout the day. This help is an important part of how we all live together.

2. Explain that the activity will explore how we get and give help in our own lives. At this point you might like to give them an example to work with. Here are two ideas:

  • For younger learners show an episode or read a story from of something like Postman Pat, Bob the Builder or Percy the Park Keeper. Use this to identify all the different ways that characters help one another.
  • For older learners, share the structure of your day (or a made up one). Read as a narrative and ask the learners to identify the different ways in which you were helped in your day and who helped you.

NOTE: You may need to encourage a deeper level of thinking in your learners. They may for example, perceive that going to the supermarket on your own to get shopping does not involve any help. Unpacking this further however will reveal many layers of help – the shop being there, the staff that stock it, the people that make or grow what it is you buy and so on. The key idea here is that much of the help and support we receive day-to-day is hidden or invisible and yet without it, we would find it very difficult to live alone or together. An example to illustrate this could be what happens in places after a natural disaster when all these ‘taken for granted’ support systems are destroyed.

3. Having introduced the idea of the activity to learners ask them to think about their own lives and the different types of help they give or get. You may like to limit this to ‘in the last week’. Working in small groups ask them to complete a ‘helping hands’ tree to share their thinking. An example of this is to the right where the trunk represents themselves and the branches represent the different ways in which they get or give help from or to others.

4. Get learners to draw around and then cut out the shape of their hands. They can then use these to write the different people they ‘get’ or ‘give’ help from or to. You may want to suggest they use one colour outline for give and another for get so that clear to see the difference. Learners decorate the tree with their helping hands, acting as the leaves of the tree.
NOTE: You could add to this activity by each branch being a different type of help. Here are some ideas for each branch:

People that help me….
…in my home
…with my learning
…to enjoy myself
…to make me feel better
…to solve problems

5. Once each group has completed their tree, they could share as a class and think about how easy or difficult it might be for them to live if they didn’t live together with all of these helpers.

 

Based on original material created by The Linking Network and Lifeworlds Learning

Resources to download