Resource 5: Role play for HIV and AIDS lessons

Background information / subject knowledge for teacher

When thinking about the problems for role plays, make sure they allow your pupils focus on positive reactions or behaviour. Research has indicated that scary and negative messages do not always encourage a positive change in behaviour. In a role play, pupils act out a situation spontaneously. This means they take on a role and decide what they are going to do and say on the spot. They do not rehearse or use a script. You cannot tell exactly how a role is going to develop. Role plays can:

  • help identify attitudes of different people;
  • help pupils to explore group or personal behaviour;
  • help pupils see that other people have similar problems;
  • help pupils develop interpersonal skills;
  • provide a way to address sensitive problems;
  • help pupils see things from other people's points of view;
  • help pupils practise assertive behaviour;
  • allow pupils to explore situations that concern them without revealing anything personal about their own knowledge, beliefs, experiences or situation.

Tips for organising and conducting role plays

  • Write the problem on the board or on sheets of paper.
  • Allow the pupils to read and think about the situation.
  • Give each pupil a role card explaining their role and allow them time to think about what they are going to say. This preparation can be done in groups of pupils who have the same role. (This method focuses pupils on their roles rather than the whole situation and can therefore lead to a more involved role play.)
  • A boy could play the role of a girl and vice versa.

Allow time for discussion, prompted by questions like:

  • What could character x have done differently?
  • What are some of the reasons why character x behaved as they did?
  • How did the different characters feel?

Resource 4: Transmission runaround