Exploration 1A: Extension Activities

Research and Collect Stories

Research stories from your history, legends and religion to find accounts of bystanders who acted to protect the life or human dignity of someone whom they may not know or whom they would not ordinarily be inclined to help or protect.
  • What made them act? What was the result?
Illustrate and put together a book or exhibit of all the stories you collect.


Give your own interpretation of the following line from the 14th-century Sufi poet, Jelaluddin Rumi:

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.

You can interpret Rumi’s statement in a drawing, write about it or compose a song based on it.

Do a brainstorming exercise for statements or sayings that you have heard which reflect the humanitarian point of view. Explain how each saying is linked with the humanitarian point of view.

[For instance, when an EHL student proposed "Monkey see, monkey do," classmates justified its inclusion on the grounds that people follow other people's example, and that goes for humanitarian behaviour as well as any other type of behaviour.]

Collect (from your family and other sources) traditional sayings that reflect the humanitarian point of view. Collaborate on a booklet or collage made up of the sayings.

Instead of seeking vengeance, set a good example.
— a student from Djibouti

Mercy holds the world together.
— a student from Thailand

A Hadith by the Prophet says: Whoever of you sees an unjust act should intervene to change it by hand, if he cannot then by his tongue, and if he cannot then with his heart and this is the minimum.
— a student from Egypt

Even a hunter cannot kill a bird that comes to him for refuge.
— Japanese proverb

Trace the Consequences

Analyse the impact of bystanders on the protection of life or human dignity.

Choose one of the following acts and construct a chain of consequences:

  • An act you did as a bystander on behalf of someone else
  • An act someone else did as a bystander
Write the action of the bystander in a circle in the middle of the page. Then show the impact of that action by connecting the circle to as many other people and events as you can think of.