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Key date

10 December
Human Rights Day


49 Practical Activities and Methods for Human Rights Education > "Draw-the-word" game

"Draw-the-word" game

Non-artists have rights too!
Themes General human rights, Media, Citizenship
Complexity Level 1
Group size 8+
Time 45 minutes
Overview This is a team game in which people have to draw creatively to depict a word relating to human rights.
Related rights
  • The right to freedom of opinion and expression
  • The right to freedom of thought
  • Equality in dignity and rights.
  • To develop knowledge of the UDHR
  • To develop team-building and creative thinking, and an awareness of how we use images
  • To promote solidarity and respect for diversity
  • A wall chart which lists the articles of the UDHR.
  • A large sheet of paper or flipchart paper and a marker to record the scores
  • Sheets of paper (A4 size) and pens for the group drawings, one sheet per team per round of the game
  • Sticky tape or pins to display the drawings
  • Sticky tape or pins to display the drawings
  • Refer to the abridged version of the UDHR and copy it onto a large sheet of paper.
  • Select the rights you want the group to work with and make a list for use in the game.


  1. Ask participants to get into small groups of four to five people and to choose a name for their team.
  2. Explain that in the activity they will be working in teams. You will give one person in each team an Article from the UDHR to draw. The others in the team have to guess which right it is. The team that guesses first scores a point. The team with the most points at the end wins.
  3. Tell the teams to collect several sheets of paper and a pencil and to find somewhere to sit around the room. The teams should be spread out so they do not overhear each other.
  4. Call up one member from each team. Give them one of the rights on your list, for example, "freedom from torture" or "the right to life".
  5. Tell them to return to their groups and to make a drawing to represent the right while their team mates try to guess what it is. They may only draw images; no numbers or words may be used. No speaking is allowed except to confirm the correct answer.
  6. The rest of the team may only say their guesses; they may not ask questions.
  7. After each round, ask all the drawers to write on their picture what the right was, whether they finished it or not, and to put the paper to one side.
  8. Do a second round; call new people to be the drawers and give them a different right. Do 7 or 8 rounds. A different person should draw in each round. Try to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to draw at least once.
  9. At the end, ask the groups to pin up their pictures so that the different interpretations and images of the different rights can be compared and discussed.

Debriefing and evaluation


Begin by reviewing the activity itself and then go on to talk about what people know about human rights.

  • Was it easier or harder than people had expected to depict human rights?
  • How did people choose how to depict a particular right? Where did they get the images from?
  • How do the different images of each right compare? How many different ways were there to depict and interpret the same concept?
  • After all the pictures have been reviewed, ask how much - or how little - participants discovered they knew about human rights.
  • Do they think human rights have any relevance to their own lives? Which ones?

Tips for facilitators

Before you do this activity you should read through the UDHR (page 403) and be familiar with what is meant by human rights; for example, that they are internationally guaranteed, legally protected, they focus on the dignity of the human being, they protect both individuals and groups, they can not be taken away, they are equal and interdependent and they are universal.

You will need to decide how to use the wall chart. If participants have very little knowledge of the UDHR you may like to use the chart before you start the activity, so people have some clue as to what they should be guessing! If participants have more knowledge, then use the chart at the end to stimulate discussion about the rights that were not drawn.

Be aware that people who consider themselves poor artists may think this will be too difficult for them. Reassure them that you are not looking for works of art and encourage everyone to have a go. They may be surprised!

Use the abridged version of the UDHR for finding rights for drawing. Some suggestions are: the right to life, freedom from torture, the right to a fair trial, freedom from discrimination, the right to privacy, the right to education, freedom from slavery, freedom of association, freedom of expression, the right to a nationality, freedom of thought and religion, the right to vote, the right to work, the right to health, the right to own property, the right to marry and found a family and the right to choose who to marry.


If you have a small group of less than 8 people you can play as one group; ask one person to draw in the first round, and whoever guesses draws in the next round, etc.

Suggestions for follow-up

The group may like to go on to explore some of issues relating to the rights of disabled people using the activity "See the ability".

If the group enjoy puzzles and are curious about other peoples culture, music and language, then they may enjoy guessing where the different stories come from in "Tales of the world" in the all different all equal education pack .
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