Participants realise the downsides of trying to look the way society tells them to
Paper and Colouring Pencils/pens
Large Piece of paper per group of 8
Listen to the story and find out about the two characters
Read the story:Ask everyone to sit comfortably and quietly for a story.Read out the story to the group. You could make this more interactive by asking participants to help read sections of the story or use actions during the story, like Gilly brushing her fur or Millie dive-bombing into the water.
Draw the characters: Now hand out paper and pens, and ask participants in pairs to draw the two main characters, Millie the mouse and Gilly the mouse.
Discuss the characters: Ask the pairs to come together into groups of around eight. Each group should have a leader with them.
Put the Millie pictures out on the floor.
Can you all tell me one thing about Millie’s character; what she’s like or what she likes to do?
Ask each participant in turn to say something to help build up a picture of Millie’s character.
Put the Gilly pictures out on the floor.
Can you all tell me one thing about Gilly’s character, what she’s like or what she likes to do?
Ask each participant in turn to help build up a picture of Gilly’s character.
Staying in small groups, discuss:
In the story, what did Gilly miss out on because she was worried about the way she looked?
Why does Gilly try so hard to change the way she looks?
How do you think this makes Gilly feel?
What do you think the story is trying to tell us?
Does hearing about Gilly and Millie make you think differently about how you see yourself?
You should have reached the stage where participants understand:
The differences between the characters.
That Gilly feels under pressure because of what she sees in the media.
That feeling she has to look a certain way doesn’t make Gilly happy, and has a lot of downsides. E.g: Gilly doesn’t join in, has to work hard and spend a long time getting ready, can’t spend time with friends, doesn’t get to do fun things, wishes she’s something she’s not, misses out on how beautiful she is already, has a strained relationship with her parents and is constantly worrying.