Lesson 8: Giant Steps – needs and wants in action



Double class period


Activity One: Giant Steps – needs and wants in action


Different people have different needs and wants when it comes to their spending. In this lesson, we will look at what this means for the present and future financial well-being of a range of people.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Activity One:  Giant Steps

1.   Tell the class that they are going to participate in a role play to help understand that different people have different needs and wants when it comes to their spending.

2.   Ask the class if anyone has ever taken part in a Giant Steps activity before?  Encourage those who have to help you explain how the activity works.

3.   Explain that each student will be given a card with a description of a person. They should take a few minutes to think about the character on their card and what life might be like for them. If they want, they can make up some more detail about their character. They will then be asked to imagine how their specific character might respond to a set of statements.

4.   Distribute one Giant Steps role card to each student.

5.   Once students have had a chance to get into the role, invite them to stand, ‘in character’, at one end of the room with their backs against the wall. Use the full length of the space.

6.   Explain that you are going to read out statements (Teacher Resource Sheet: Giant Steps statements). After each statement is read they should:

  • Take a giant step if they agree that the statement applies to their character.
  • Take a baby step if they partly agree that the statement applies to their character.
  • Don’t move if they think the statement does not apply to their character.

7.   Emphasise that the aim is not to reach the end (where you will be standing). Instead, the purpose is to enter into character and experience what it would be like to be that person.

8.   Read each statement aloud, allowing sufficient time for students to consider the statement and decide whether or not to move.

9.   When all statements have been read, ask students to remain standing for a few minutes.

10.   Ask the students standing closest to you which statements motivated them to move, and which ones they felt did not apply to ‘them’.  Ask the students at the back the same questions, and also ask how they felt when they could not move.

11.   Check to see if any students with the same role cards are standing in different places. Ask them to talk about their character, and to compare why one moved when another one did not.

12.   Invite students to sit down.

13.   Facilitate a whole class discussion using the following as prompts:

  •     What did you think about this activity?  Did you like it?  Why?
  •     What did you learn about the needs and wants of different individuals?
  •     If you could give some advice to the person on your role card what would it be?


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