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Target group:

Paper Person

The group has one life-size paper person. Every participant stands up one by one and tells something bad about this paper person. With the verbal insult comes the physical crumple of any paper person’s body part.  After everybody insults and crumples the paper person, it is time to apologise, say something beautiful and try to smooth the crumpled part. After that the group has a discussion about their feelings and about the paper person, which, however, remains crumpled.

30-40 min

Target group

  • Children (cca. 3 – 8 years)
  • Older Kids (cca. 6 – 12 years)
  • Teenagers (cca. 13 – 18 years)
  • Young adults (cca. 17 – 26 years)
  • NEETs
  • Youth with fewer opportunities
  • Youth workers
  • Teachers


The activity is about bullying, intolerance, discrimination. It learns empathy by showing that every action we make has long-term or even everlasting impact on others. Sharing experiences and feelings helps to acknowledge that everybody has been hurt at some point of life, and that it hurts the same for everybody. The groups learns ways of reaction when becomes victims or witnesses of injustice.

The method can be used also for other content.


Paper, scissors, pencil, glue or duct tape

Specific Environment

Specific goals

Ways of reaction when become a victim or a witness of injustice; Empathy; apology; tolerance; equality; empowerment; Self-reflection on their own actions and feelings; A chance to encourage people to participate in anti-bullying programs at schools, for example; Learning to identify bullying and injustice in our everyday life, sharing experiences


  1. Paper life-size person is made.
  2. The group leader holds the person while every participants comes to insult the person and to crumple any part of its paper body which is a symbol of a heart or soul or feelings.
  3. Then the group leader reminds what wrong with this paper person was, how it was insulted and shows where it is crumpled badly.
  4. The group discusses feelings and whether it was hard or not to complete the task.
  5. Now everybody tries undo the damage. Each participant has to tell something beautiful to the paper person and try to smooth the body part which was damaged by them.
  6. In the final discussion the group members share their feeling, thoughts, tells what was difficult or easy to them. The group leader pays everyone’s attention that the paper person is still crumpled and the damage is not undone completely.

Outcomes and its measurability

  • Social competencies
  • Civic competencies
  • Self-reflexion
  • Motivation to engage
  • Ability to recognise bullying and react

Project in which the method has been used

Title Qualification Training “Interactive Methods in Social Work”