BELONGING - Explore the concept of belonging and more importantly, how to begin to foster a culture of belonging for migrant and refugee children in classrooms, through highlighting similarities and embracing difference.


  1. Identify different groups that they belong to

  2. Identify different ways in which they belong

  3. Explore the theme of belonging 


3rd/4th Class

SPHE > Myself > Developing self-confidence

  • Enhance his/her own learning

  • Express personal opinions, feelings, thoughts and ideas with growing confidence

  • Become more confident in coping with change and with situations that are unfamiliar

  • Become increasingly responsible and autonomous


5th/6th Classs

SPHE > Myself > Self-confidence

  • Develop further the ability to express personal opinions, thoughts and ideas and listen to, respect, think about and comment critically and constructively on the views of others

  • Enhance skills to improve learning

  • Take increasing personal responsibility for himself/hersel

  • Become more independent and autonomous



Prior Learning
Knowledge and understanding of:
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child
Belonging - need to be an accepted member of a group. Whether it is family, friends, peers, a religion, a culture, people tend to want to belong.




Show the children Mustafa One Year On.  Discuss with children the definition of belonging. What does it mean to belong in a society or amoung a group. What does it feel like?

Discuss with the children Mustafa's story, ask if they think Mustafa feels like he belongs in Germany? Why/why not? 

Suggested points:

  1. Would you feel like you belong and are an equal if your rights are not equally protected? What right of Mustafa's is not being protected? (His right to his family - his father and sister  refer to the Convention)

  2. Would you feel like you belong if you have to justify your right to be accepted? He talks about people thinking people like him might come to Germany and blow them up. He talks of Germans being scared of him and his family. 

What does Mustafa mean when he says we are just like you? We all belong to the same earth. Does Mustafa deserve the same treatment/rights as you? 

If you were Mustafa, what would you like to hear from the German children? 

Now show either Desmond or Jamalida's video. In pairs, ask the children to brainstorm ways that Desmond or Jamalida have shown us that they feel like they belong in Ireland (football, GAA for Ballyhaunis, ‘appreciation’ for Irish food). Children share contributions with class. 


Development: With Whom do I Belong?

Instruct all the children to stand against the walls of the room. The teacher (or a volunteer pupil) will read out a topic. The children walk into the centre of the room if they feel that they like/engage in that topic (e.g. football, coke, chocolate, sleeping). Ideally every child would like something and will be able to identify that they belong to a group.

Tip: when calling out interest points, keep an eye on all the children. If any children are not engaging, think of something that you know they enjoy so that they can participate. Edit the topic cards so that they are in line with the interests in your class.  

Discussion Points

What are your thoughts on belonging?

How can we show others that they belong?

Where do you feel you belong?

What does it feel like to belong?



In support of the campaign, pupils ask the whole school to participate in the With Whom do I Belong? activity at assembly and discuss with the students what you learnt about belonging.


Share with the children the poster on Convention of the Rights of the Child. Ask them to determine which rights are significant to the topic they have been discussing. 

Article 7 (Nationality) You have the right to a nationality (to belong to a country). You also have the right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by your parents.

Article 8 (Preservation of identity): You have the right to an identity – an official record of who you are. Governments should respect your right to a name, a nationality and family ties.

Article 14 (Religion): You have the right to choose your own religion and beliefs. your parents should help you decide what is right and wrong, and what is best for you. 

Article 15 (Freedom of association) You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn't harmful to others. 

Article 29 (Goals of education): Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities to the fullest. It should also help you to respect others, human rights and you own and other cultures. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people. 

Article 30 (Children of minorities/indigenous groups): Minority or indigenous children have the right to learn about and practice their own culture, language and religion. The right to practice one’s own culture, language and religion applies to everyone; the Convention here highlights this right in instances where the practices are not shared by the majority of people in the country.


UNICEF Ireland wants to support you to start a global movement for change beginning in our own communities. Stay connected online with other activists like you. 


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Thanks to our Supporters

Irish Aid for supporting youth activism within UNICEF Ireland.