How to Do It

The activities of the project can be summed up in four simple steps. Follow these instructions to give your children the best possible role model experience.

1. Discuss

Initiate discussion about role models with your pupils and children and inspire them to think about the role models in their lives.

Ask children if they know what role models are, and comment on their answers. Talk to children about role models, why it is important to have them, and about the influence they have on people's lives. You can find useful information concerning role models in the book What You Need to Know About Role Models, and you can make use of the games and other contents of the package Out of the Box Experience.

Tell children about your own past or present role models. Share an example of one of the people in your life who left a lasting impression or had an important influence on you, e.g. your grandfather, your neighbourhood baker, an Olympic figure skating champion, etc.

Find and read to children news stories of noble acts (e.g. of a firefighter who risked his life to save a dog trapped in a burning building), articles describing inspiring life stories (e.g. of a person who achieved greatness despite a disease or handicap), or some other similar narratives. Ask the children to share their thoughts and encourage them to think about similar examples. For examples or inspiration, see our collection of role model stories.

Ask children about who their role models are. If they are not sure, you may offer help: ask them who they look up to and respect the most and encourage them to think about the qualities in those people they admire.

Encourage children to look for other exemplary people in their lives. Guide children to consider individuals in their families, communities or the wider world, e.g. an elder cousin they aspire to be like, a local doctor, or a successful sportsperson who achieved his or her results through hard work.

Ask your pupils and children why they consider the people they named as role models. Encourage them to describe their positive traits with their own words. Help children search for news stories or similar articles where the deeds and lives of some of these individuals are described, and try to find some of their meaningful or inspiring quotes.

3. Interact

Along with your pupils and children, organise meetings with their chosen role models.

Find the address or phone number of a person one or more of the children in your group consider a role model. Contact him or her, introduce yourself and your children, and invite the role model to take part in the project. Arrange the nature of your interaction depending on the role model's availability and accessibility.

Provided the role model agrees, take your children to visit his or her home or workplace. If a physical visit is unfeasible or the role model is unavailable for some reason, organise a video chat with the role model instead, or simply call the role model over the phone and put him or her on speaker so the children can also participate in the conversation.

Instead of the above, or in addition to it, you can invite the role model to come to your classroom to interact with your children face to face, or arrange an event at your school where the role model addresses several classes at once, or the entire school assembly. Help the children prepare an interview with the role model, or have a spontaneous question and answer session. If the role model agrees, videotape the event and upload it on the internet so that other people can see it as well. After the visit, the class can fill out a thank-you postcard contained within the Out of the Box Experience package and send it to the role model as a token of gratitude.

4. Create

Stimulate children to write stories of their role models, then upload the stories on our website.

Encourage children to write short stories describing their chosen role models, and provide them help if necessary. The role model stories provided on our website may serve as an example or a source of inspiration. The stories may be in the form of a short biography, a narrative detailing the role model's traits and actions, or some similar structure. If a child decides to write about a role model that was visited or made an appearance at the school, the story may be in the form of a summary of the visit. The story may include a photograph (or drawing) of the role model and/or an inspiring quote by him or her.

Assemble the stories written by your group or class and upload them on our website by clicking the Add new story button. Make sure to follow the instructions detailed here. Before you can upload the stories, you need to sign up on our website. Follow this link to make your account.

Print out the stories you and your children wrote and collect them into a book. You can include the stories written by your class, the entire school, or even coordinate with other schools within your municipality. You can then publish the book or make it otherwise available to the children's parents and the wider community.

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