Danger of a single story

How to communicate positively about migrants/refugees


-to increase the knowledge of a dangerous of stereotypes in our life

-to develop critical thinking about information, which we get

- to foster empathy and solidarity


Expected Outcomes

After the workshop participants should:

-be aware of his/her own stereotypes

-can perceive diversity of people and their life stories

-understand influence of stereotypes on your perception and behaviours


Target group

Nationals, Immigrants

Youth, Adults

Number of participants: 10-25 people



(1 - very easy, 5 - very difficult)

The degree of expertise needed - 2

The amount of work to prepare and implement the scenario - 2

The relative overall cost predicted - 2



1 h 50 min


The room with the  chairs (one per person) putting in the circle and space to work in groups



Computer/laptop with Internet access


Flipchart paper


Sticky notes

Prepared paper ties

Copy of Linett's story (Annex 1 & Annex 2)



For introduction/get to know game cut paper tie (one for each participant), can be colourful.

Read the annexes to learn more about the topic of the workshops.




Start with the energizer/get to know game. Give the participants previously prepared paper ties and ask to write on them 3 right and 1 false statements about his/her. Each person stick the tie to his/her shirt. Ask participants to go around and try to guess which written statements  are false.

After the exercises ask people:

-Did you have any difficulties to guess what is false?

- How did you guess (base on what)?

-What was surprising for you? (10 minutes)



1. Explain, that the topic of the workshop are stereotypes.


2. Read the introduction of the story of Linette (Annex 1) and ask participants to answer the questions:

-What is the profession of Linette?

-What does she and her children do in the life?

-What is important for her?

 Ask people to write down his/her answer on the paper and leave it for a while. We will come back to them in the next step of the workshop. (10 minutes)


3. Show the TED speech of Chimamanda Adichi, a Nigerian writer of novels, short stories, and nonfiction. You can find it on the website: https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story/transcript?language=pl#t-45687 (20 minutes)


4. Ask participants to write down on the sticky notes:

Where do the stereotypes come from?

Who is the source of the stereotypes?

Ask to write one answer on one sticky note. They can based on the watched speech as well as on own experience. When the group is ready, ask people to present own answers by sticking it one by one on the big paper. Ask to group the answers by taping similar close to each other. After all presentations name the groups and sources of stereotypes (e.g. media, family, school, books etc.) (20 minutes)


5. Read at a loud the whole story of Linette and ask participants to think about what he/she wrote in the paper. (10 minutes)


6. Divide participants into small groups of 4-5 people.


7. Hand out the flipchart paper and the pen and ask to draw a mind map of the consequences of stereotypes used in the life. Ask to think and discuss about that and try to be specific, by given examples. (15 minutes)


8. When the work is done, ask each group in turn to present their mind map. Allow time for short questions and answers after each presentation, but leave general discussion for the debriefing. (10 minutes)



Start with a review of how people worked together in their groups. Then go on to talk about the danger of stereotypes.

- Have you experienced any stigmas, stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination in your life?

- How do you feel with those experiences?

- How did you overcome them?

-Why do people create stereotypes?

-What do we have to pay attention to don't follow stereotypes? (15 minutes)


Support tools



1. Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej, Radzenie sobie ze stereotypami. Scenariusze lekcji; http://www.ceo.org.pl/sites/default/files/news-files/egzk_radzenie_sobie_ze_stereotypami_9.pdf

2. Disability Awareness, on-line training by Joanne Chua of Malaysia / Australia and Tiffany Brar of India:

http :// inbrowserediting . adobe . com / edit / iteproject . eu / page / s1 . html


Ideas for action

You can continue the topic and speak about stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination. Ask than participants about the differences between this three concepts.

Another idea is to search in internet the stereotyped imagine and information about immigrants and refugees and another minority groups. Analyze the language used to present news.



Annex 1: Introducion of Linette's story

Annex 2: Linette's story

Annex 3: Stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination

Annex 4: Chimamanda Adichi

Annex 5: Mind map - example


Created by Foundation IRSE





Social-educational initiative centre PLUS


Make it Better


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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi¬ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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