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Discussion Starters

To get your School council discussion started and begin to think globally…

Discussion starters are any pictures, photographs, drawings, quotes, newspaper articles in fact anything you can bring along to your school council to raise an issue and get a discussion started.
Some of the best discussion starters are ‘home made’.

You will need to think carefully about the kind of information you will need to get from the discussion starter and this will help you decide which questions to raise. If you are using pictures ask the group to describe what they see.

  • Can they identify a problem?
  • How do they think it is being caused?
  • Does this situation happen regularly?
  • Have any other people in the group experienced this situation?
  • What do they think might be some of the implications?

Then you can begin to think of possible ‘solutions’ and action your school council can take.


More ‘Discussion Starters’

‘Discussion starters’ can also make great posters to raise awareness around school about an issue. An example could be a simple cartoon that shows the problem on one side of the poster and a cartoon of a possible solution on the other.

  • Ask members of your school council to each bring along a ‘discussion starter’ which illustrates an important issue for them which they think should be raised. This could be thought about during their>
  • As part of your school council meeting ask participants to draw a quick sketch or cartoon that illustrates a daily situation/problem in school. You don’t need to be a genius at art. If people are less confident about drawing they can use found objects to illustrate their issue, make a chart, graph, map, find a photograph or write a brief story or sketch about their situation. You could even work in groups.
  • If you’re not sure where to start take a look at the indicator quiz, choose an issue that you feel affects you or your school community and use the example to begin a discussion.
  • Create discussion starters which illustrate the implications of an issue, problem or action. How are you directly affected? How is your community affected? How is the global community affected?