Life’s Hardships and Pleasures



To become aware of difficulties endure

To appreciate the pleasures families share


Creative, cognitive and reflective (group activity)


The majority of the families presented in the book must endure a number of hardships and deal with them to the best of their ability in order to survive.  The essentials for living:  food, water and shelter can be difficult to obtain.  Yet, there always seems to be room for a smile.


Knowledge of the “Snakes and Ladders” type of board games


The participants will be divided into groups of five or six.  Each group will choose five families from the book and begin to list all pleasure and hardships each family experiences.

Write these facts and consequences on a “Snakes and Ladders” type of game board or on “opportunity cards” that players will draw.

For example:  player A lands of square 8 which says, “The neighbour of Gabriel Gonzales (from Colombia) has been killed in a car accident, move back 5 squares”, or player B lands on square 13 whish says, “Mario (from Costa Rica) is happy this morning because the family cow has produced enough milk to fill two large metal cans.  This will bring in additional money.  Move ahead 3 squares”.

Write clear rules for the fame.  A draft form of the game can be tested on another group in order to double check the rules and clear up any misunderstandings that might appear.


Text:  Families of the World

Board games to use as examples

Materials to construct game

Writing materials