Wants And Needs

  • This activity encourages girls to consider ideas and develop the vocabulary to discuss children's rights. Pairs or groups have to make choices and consensus may need to be reached.
  • Six of the cards overleaf are blank; use these to draw your own set of wants and needs.
Time Required: 
40 Minutes - One Hour
  • To help young people make the distinction between wants and needs.
  • To introduce the idea that basic needs can be considered rights.
  • To realize that rights are distinct from fulfillment of materialistic wants.
  1. Girls form pairs, and each pair receives a set of Wants and Needs Cards, cut into individual cards.
  2. Ask girls to imagine that a new government office is being set up to ensure that young people are provided with all the basic things that they want and need. The cards represent the list of wants and needs that the office has drawn up. The officials would like young people themselves to add any items that might be missing; ask the pairs to decide together on four additional items and to write them on the blank cards.
  3. Announce to the group that the new commission has found that, for political and economic reasons, it can only provide young people with 10 of the items on the list, rather than all 21. Ask the pairs to decide which 11 items they are willing to give up. Have them actually return their discarded cards.
  4. When all pairs have completed step 3, announce that still further cuts in what can be provided to young people must be made. Ask the pairs to eliminate another four items and return the discarded cards.