2. Finding out what pupils think and feel

Understanding differences in people’s opinions and feelings is important in developing good relationships. This is essential when dealing with a class of young people, from many different contexts, (backgrounds and settings), with different opinions and feelings. Your pupils need to understand this to help them communicate effectively and sensitively with each other.

However, before we can learn to understand different opinions and feelings, we first need to recognise them.

You can compare people’s opinions by organising a survey. You need to plan how to:

  • organise the survey;
  • explain it to the pupils;
  • check that they have understood.

Case Study 2 and Activity 2 show ways of doing this, and Resource 2: Asking questions about feelings offers some ideas to help your planning.

Case Study 2: Using groups to discuss opinions and feelings

One week Mr Obeng used the ‘Do you like...?’ survey with his primary 5 class (see Activity 2). He recorded their answers and stuck them on the wall. He often found pupils reading them and talking together.

The next week, Mr Obeng asked again about likes and dislikes, but this time, he drew two faces on the board:

For each question, they counted the number of ‘likes’ in the class and wrote the number under face a. They wrote the number of ‘dislikes’ under face b.

To introduce the idea of feelings, he wrote ‘HAPPY’ above face a, and ‘SAD’ above face b. In groups of four or five, the pupils named things that made them feel happy or sad. Working in small groups helped involve the quieter pupils.

He repeated the exercise, this time using:

In their groups, the pupils named things that made them feel angry or frightened. They shared the main ideas together as a class. They looked at whether some things occurred in more than one list and discussed why this might be. Mr Obeng was pleased with how thoughtful they were.

Activity 2: The ‘Do you like…?’ survey

Read Resource 3: How to conduct a class survey, and prepare for this activity.

  • Perhaps start by asking your class easy questions about what they like and dislike, e.g. ‘Do you all like hiplife?’ or ‘Do you like homework?’
  • In pairs, the pupils think of their own questions about what they like and dislike and record these.
  • Draw the chart from Resource 3 on the board. Ask your pupils to copy it and choose three of their own questions. With older classes you could put in more questions.
  • Explain that they will all ask five pupils the questions and write down ‘Y’ or ‘N’ for the answer under their names.
  • Ask the pairs to compare their answers. Ask some pupils to read out their questions and answers so that the whole class can hear the different responses. Discuss what they have found out from the survey.

Think about what the pupils learned from the activity and how you know this.

1. Organising pupils in groups and pairs

3. Respecting differences