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to a New Planet
In t his a c t iv it y, the participants will differentiate
between wants and needs and demonstrate understanding
of basic human rights.
time required: 20 minutes
INT E ND E D F O R G R A D E S 2 - 5
Mat er ial s

» newsprint and markers

N eed ed

» copies of the resource titled “Wants and Needs Cards.” You will need to create one set of cards
for every two participants. Note: Choose any 16 from those provided.
» Prepare a simple drawing of the solar system and a spaceship (optional).

Activity Steps
1 Inv i t e t h e pa rt ic ipa nt s to each find a partner.

E xp l a i n that Mission Control (which you represent) has discovered a new planet and each pair
will go there to start up a new community. Set the mood by naming the planet and the reasons for
going there.

A s k t he pa rt i c i pa nt s to close their eyes and imagine the new planet. Tell them to form a
picture of this community in their minds. Ask them to quietly consider these questions:
» How long will it take to get there?
» What does it look like?
» Do other people live there?
» Where will you set up the new community?
» What will you want in this new community?
» What will you need in this new community?

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A s k t he pa rt i c i pa nt s to open their eyes and discuss their ideas with their partners. Allow
a few minutes for the discussions to take place.

P r o v i de e a c h pa ir with a set of cards that you created from the resource. Then, explain
that Mission Control will provide each pair with 16 items they may bring with them to set up their
new community. Ask them to spread out the cards and examine them.

A n n o un c e that Mission Control has warned that space on the spaceship is limited. The pairs
can now take only 12 items on the spaceship. Ask the pairs to decide which four items they will
eliminate and to set aside those cards.

Inf o r m t h e pa rtic ipa nt s that Mission Control has issued an emergency announcement
that even less space is now available. The pairs can now take only eight items with them. Ask them
to decide which four items they will eliminate and to set aside those cards. Each pair should now

have only the eight most essential items for their survival.

Gat he r t he pa rt ic ipa nt s into a large group and engage them in discussion using the
following questions:
» What was difficult about doing this activity? What was easy?
» Which items were easy to discard first? Why?
» Were some items harder to eliminate than others? Which ones? Why?
» What is the difference between a want and a need?

» What does a person truly need for survival?

C o n c l ude b y i nv it ing the participants to join you in prayer. Pray for the rights of all
people throughout the world. Pray that all people, especially children will have what they need to
thrive. Pray for a world where everyone is treated fairly, and needs are always met.

(This activity is adapted from Susan Fountain, Education for Development: A Teacher’s Resource for Global
Learning; London, England: Hodder and Stoughton Publishing, 1995. © 1995 by Hodder and Stoughton
Publishing. All rights reserved.)

Copyright © 2009 by World Vision Inc., Mail Stop 321, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716, All rights reserved.

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Resource | Wants and Needs Cards

Nutrious food Clean water Music

Television Fast Food Vacation

Spending money Fashionable clothing Shelter

Protection from
Clean air Education

Ability to express
Your own bedroom Medical care
your opinion

Friends Family Your own computer

Permission to reproduce is granted. © 2009 by World Vision Inc.

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About World Vision
W o rld Vis i o n i s a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to helping
children and their families break free from poverty. Our work is motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ. We
see a world where each child experiences “fullness of life” as described in John 10:10. And we know this can
be achieved only by addressing the problems of poverty and injustice in a holistic way. That’s how World
Vision is unique: We bring nearly 60 years of experience in three key areas needed to help children and
families thrive: emergency relief, long-term development, and advocacy. And we bring all of our skills across
many areas of expertise to each community we work in, enabling us to care for children’s physical, social,
emotional, and spiritual well-being.

W o rld Vis i o n R es o u r c e s educates Christians about global poverty, inspires them to social justice,
and equips them with innovative resources to make a difference in the world.

For more information about

our resources, contact:

World Vision Resources

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