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Read the previous paragraph.

Before starting the topic, it is important to know where the students are in their knowledge of social sustainable development. The following exercise will give the teacher an idea of what to include and what not, depending on the knowledge of the students. So before presenting all of the above, ask the students the following questions, and write on the board what the essential words are that they mention. It should just be their first thoughts, and nothing is right or wrong in this reflection.


IF you think this exercise is too difficult to practice with the students or pupils before going through the paragraph and teaching them about social sustainability, this exercise can also be used in the end of the module, to sum up and hear if the students have understood the main objectives.


The exercise

  • What is social sustainability about?
  • Where do we see social unsustainability in your local area?
  • What can you do to make the world more socially sustainable? (don’t bully, make sure your classmates are not lonely, help your friends and family, do volunteer work).

All the students get to post it and talk to each other in pairs about the questions. They write key words, draw.


Spread out all the 17 SDGs in a circle on the floor. 

If you don’t have the cardboard version, just make print outs of each. You can find the SDG logos here:

Choose an SDG and share why round (10 minutes)

  • Facilitator asks all participants to walk around the circle and read all the 17 SDGs. Let the participants ask questions about the content of the different SDGs, if this is not clear to them.
  • Facilitator asks all participants to stand next to the SDG they think is the most important one.
  • Facilitator asks participants to share why they have chosen the SDG they have (2 by 2)

Reflection round (5 minutes)

  • How did It feel having to choose just one SDG? Was it easy, was it hard?
  • How did you feel when the other participants shared why they chose as they did?

Summing up (optional) (10 minutes)

  • Facilitator tells about the different goal ‘types’ to increase understanding of how the SDG framework is holistic and the SDGs interlinked.


This exercise is made by Danish Youth Foundation (DUF)

A great tool for young people to facilitate their knowledge is through sound instead of traditionally reading. This gives them the possibility to express rather than write what they have learned, which means that this practice is both great for the producer and the recipient of the sound.

The exercise

In pairs the students are handed an SDG each (this could be in the theme of this module, meaning giving them the SDG’s 1,2,3,4,5,7,10,11,16 (and perhaps 17).

  • First the teacher will give the small lecture before on social sustainability (first paragraph of this module)
  • The students now have some time to find information about the goals, its relevance for themselves and their local community etc.
  • NOW they have to create a 30-60 second sound/podcast/telephone recording, where they explain this goal to the others. This can be done on a phone or if the school has a recorder, they can take turns to use that. The important thing is, that they give the keywords about the goal and why it is important for them exactly.

In the end, the class will have 17 small podcasts they can transmit to the school, on a website etc. And they will learn a lot by explaining their goal to the others, as well as hearing about the goals from their classmates.

These can also be repeated the year after, so they are repeatedly reminded what they learned about (social) sustainable development.


  • This does not have to be a professional podcast. But sound is a great way of learning for young students, which is why they will learn a lot from hearing their fellow students present a goal and only have to research on one goal themselves.

Do not try to play everything at once, they will only hear the first 3-4 and after that it will get more mixed and perhaps, they will lose focus. It is a great starter for each class, after the podcasts have been developed, they can hear 1-3 every morning in the coming week!

Now we know that it is extremely important to be aware of the Social Sustainable dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals. But how can we ACT! On this agenda? How can we make our local area a little bit better every day?

The exercise:

In the given site on the website, the teacher is able to write all the students’ input on how to create a more socially sustainable environment for them. In the end, it will be possible to download it as PDF or print it out, to make a beautiful contract, where all the students can sign or draw on, depending on their age.

This exercise is a call to action and a constant reminder of how social sustainability is an ongoing process, and not a theme to learn about in school and then don’t think about ever again. This also creates a good and fun environment, where they can come up with creative ideas on how to make the world a better place. Another essential benefit of the exercise is that it makes the goals very relatable to the young people.


This exercise could be repeated in all the thematic modules, so the class in the end has 3 contracts.



While they come up with suggestions to themselves about how they can act, they can also come up with recommendations to the school on how they can work with this agenda. E.g. singing in the morning, as it makes them happy. An improvement of some kind or so on. This also makes them feel important and that everyone works on this, and not just them as students.