- Special items from home
Before you begin
- Ask everyone to bring in an item that’s special to them. Let everyone know they’ll be asked to share their feelings about the item with the group.
- Set up tables or chairs around the room in groups of two or three.
- Everyone should sit in a circle.
- Someone should read The Twins who were Similar and Different by Jess Connett.
- After reading the story, everyone should take some time to reflect on it as a group. We’ve included some questions to help you reflect in the pink box below.
Tara and Poppy were identical twins. When they were little, their mum liked to buy two of each outfit and dress them exactly the same.
“Wow!” people would say. “They look identical! How do you tell them apart?”
But when the twins started going to school, everyone in their class could always tell who was who.
Tara liked to organise energetic games with lots of people. Poppy preferred to play quietly with one or two friends.
“How can you be twins when you like different things?” asked a boy in their class.
“Twins aren’t identical in every way,” said Tara. “Everybody has things in common but we are all special and unique.”
That gave Tara an idea for a game. She whispered her idea to Mrs Lamb, the teacher, who thought it sounded fun. They invited everyone in the class to play.
“The game is, you have to find your twin,” Tara explained.
“You can be twins who have the same colour hair, like me and Poppy, or you can be twins who both like the same hobby or have the same special talent. Ok, go!”
Everybody found someone to talk to, and found out something that would make them twins.
Tara asked everyone to explain why they were twins.
One pair said: “We both collect special stones and rocks.”
Another pair said: “We both want to ride horses when we are older.”
A third pair said: “We have matching shoes!”
Then Tara told everyone to find a new twin. There was lots of excited talking in the room as all the pairs mixed up again.
When the game was finished, Mrs Lamb asked everyone to sit down. “Tara’s game has taught us an important lesson. Everyone found at least two twins in this room. But is everyone here the same?”
The class looked around. Everyone was very different – from how tall they were to their favourite school subject.
“Everyone can find similarities with other people. That’s how we become friends: because we like some of the same things. But we are always different too.”
Poppy put up her hand to speak. She said: “Differences are a good thing. I couldn’t think of a game as good as that, but Tara can. We are similar and different. We are all unique.”
By Jess Connett
Share something special
- Everyone should collect their chosen item and split into pairs.
- Everyone should take it in turns to tell their partner about their special item. They could explain where they got the item from and why they got it – did someone give it to them for a reason, did they decide to buy it, or did they choose to keep it when they found it somewhere?
- Everyone should reflect on what they heard and how it made them feel.
- Once everyone has finished sharing their item in pairs, everyone should come back together as a whole group.
- When the group is settled, the person leading the activity should ask if anyone would like to share their special item with the whole group.
- Everyone should listen carefully to each other and try their best to remember something new about someone in the group.
- At the end of the activity, everyone should reflect on how it felt to share something important to them.
This activity encouraged people to connect with their own feelings and communicate things that are important to them. Throughout the session, young people led each other’s learning and discovered the importance of valuing their own and other people’s thoughts and feelings.
You can ask these reflection questions throughout the session or talk about them at the end.
The Twins who were Similar and Different
- Why is it a good thing to be different to someone else?
- Can you find somebody near you who likes something the same and something different to you?
Share something special
- How does it make you feel to hear about someone’s special item?
- Was it hard or easy to talk to other people about your special item?
- Did everyone bring the same item? Why do you think that is?
- Why do you think it is important for people to share their feelings?
If anyone doesn’t want to share their item with a partner, they could share it with a leader instead.
This is a very personal session where people are encouraged to talk about things that are important to them. If anyone doesn’t want to do this, they could record a video or a message at home and someone else could share it for them.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.
Ask everyone to think of a nice way to celebrate or thank the people who shared items that are special to them. It could be a hug, clap, song, picture, sticker, handshake, dance, or something else.
You should share these physical thank yous in another session (or with people at home) to celebrate everyone’s bravery and courage.