Build me up

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The activity allows European values such as human rights, democracy, freedom, equality and the rule of law to emerge in a creative and experiential way. Participants create still “tableaux vivants” of European values, using the other participants to embody and represent this value. The values come to life in a concrete and easily accessible way through teamwork.

Time 60 minutes

Material Standard

Group Size 30 people, +14 years old

Keywords Values, Europe, Teamwork




Handbook: TEVIP Bluelines-tevip-en.png Translating European Values into Practice Download


  • Visualise values in a creative experimental context
  • Understand fundamental values in Europe
  • Learn to cooperate and carry out teamwork


Prepare the setting in which you will welcome the participants and carry out the activity: a large space with enough room to move around in. For the initial phase, arrange the chairs in a circle in the centre of the room. Set up the PowerPoint presentation (you can find it in “Useful materials”).


1. Present the topic of European values to the group and kick off a brainstorming session by asking the question: “What values do you think represent Europe most?”. Write the answers on a flip chart. Remember to consider the fundamental values of the EU at the end of the brainstorming session – as defined by the LISBON Treaty: respect for human dignity, freedom of democracy, equality and the rule of law.

2. Once a sufficient number of values have been collected, you and the participants try to narrow down the field, identifying 5 (aggregating similar ones or choosing the most important ones).

3. Divide the group into five teams and assign each one a different value.

4. Ask each team to create a human statue (tableau vivant) of the assigned value. The only material that can be used is the participants’ bodies. Give the teams 20 minutes to discuss and prepare to perform the creative representation of value.

5. When everyone is ready, call the teams one by one. Each team creates their own collective statue and then explains how the resulting still life represents the chosen value and why.


After the activity, gather in a circle with all the participants for discussion, using the following questions as a starting point:

  • How do you feel?
  • Was it difficult to give a visual representation to values? Why?
  • Were the still life images created literal or abstract? Why?
  • Where did you get the idea for your visual representation?
  • What role do these values play in society?



If you had time, it could be useful to link the activity to the Orbiting values activity to continue the discussion about European values in the family and in the community.