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Introduction to humanity

Explore the concept of humanity with young learners

The word, and idea of, humanity is central to understanding the work of the Red Cross as a humanitarian organisation.

The activities in this resource build an understanding of humanity for younger learners by starting with what it means to be human before moving on to explore the key concepts underpinning wider notions of humanity.

The concepts and activities are ideally suited to learners aged 7–11, but some may be suitable for younger learners aged 67, and at points alternatives are suggested to support differentiation.

Curriculum links: Primary, PSHE


Learning objectives

Children will:

  • Explore the word ‘humanity’ and think about what it means.
  • Consider what is meant by the idea of ‘shared humanity’.
  • Be introduced to the idea of helping themselves and helping others.


Resource overview

1. Starter activity

Children work in pairs to answer the question “What makes us human?”

2. From being human to shared humanity

Explore definitions of humanity, and encourage children to think about things they have in common with other young people around the world.

3. Humanity and being humane

Use a ‘Hand, Pair, Share’ technique to allow children to share their thoughts about kindness, caring and helping.

4. Helping others

Create a wall display which shows how children can keep themselves safe, well, and happy, and how they can help others around them to do the same.

5. Why we help others?

Creative activities allow time for reflection and help children articulate why helping others is an important part of humanity.



These resources were written by Rob Bowden and Rosie Wilson of Lifeworlds Learning and published in February 2015.


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Related resources

Start with what it means to be human. Move on to explore human dignity and what it means to be humanitarian.