Itaka Escolapios Itaka Escolapios

Chain of Favours

Date: 2021 25th October

Global-local approach
Fight against exclusion


  • 12-14
  • 14-16
  • 16-18
  • +18

Objectives :

  • Realize the small actions in favor of others can change the world.
  • Start and spread a pay it forward from the closest environment (school, family, friends...).

Autor: Temas de educación”- Revista digital para profesionales de la enseñanza.



(8 votos, promedio:
“It is difficult. It cannot be planned. We have to take more care of people, love and protect them. Because they do not always see what they need. It is a great chance to fix something that is not your bike. You can fix a person.”      

This activity may be carried on differently depending on the age of the students, who will be divided between those younger than 14, who will watch a music video and older than 14, who will watch the movie “Pay it forward.” We also want this activity to transcend the limits of the school and reach the families, so for the second part, we propose some cards of the activity for the students to take home no matter their age.

Common part

Both activities will start, however, there is a previous work of reflection on solidarity and how all of our actions, even those we believe are the most insignificant, have transcendence. For this, we will read the story “One at a time”.


At sunset, a young man was walking through a deserted beach. While he was walking, he began to see in the distance that another man was approaching. As he was getting closer, he noticed that the man was leaning down to pick up something that he then threw into the water.  Again and again he threw those things hard to the ocean.

As he got closer, the young man observed that the man was picking up starfishes which the tide had left on the beach and he threw them back to the ocean one by one. The intrigued walker approached the man to greet him.

 -Good afternoon, my friend. I was wondering what were you doing.

 -I am returning these starfishes to the ocean. Now the tide is low and left all these starfishes on the beach. If i do not return them to the sea, they will die from lack of oxygen.

 -I see -replied the boy- but in this beach there must be thousands of starfishes in the sea. They are just simply too many. And most likely this is happening in hundreds of beaches along this coastline. Don’t you realize that it is impossible that all you do won’t be useful or have any importance?

 The man smiled, leaned down to collect another starfish and while he was throwing it to the sea, he replied:

-It is important for this one!

(From the book "Sopa de pollo para el alma" by J. Canfield y M. V. Hansen)

 We may leave some time for them to reflect and then make comments regarding what do they think about the story and if they can apply it to themselves the actions they do.

Then, they will do the main activity:

Under the age of 14

We propose the students watch the following video “One Day” and reflect on it.


Above the age of 14

The activity we propose for the students older than 14 is related to the “Pay it forward” movie of 2000.

A professor with a face disfigured by burns proposes a job for his students: search for methods to improve the world, or at least the community surrounding them. One of the boys takes his teacher’s proposal very seriously and invents a chain system: its idea consists of helping three people with something that cannot achieve on their own, in exchange for each one of them help other three people and so on. At first, the idea didn’t seem to work and Trevor, the main character, starts to distrust the viability of his project and the people he helped. However, it reached different places in the USA, until it affected a journalist who became interested in the project and investigates the roots of it, reaching Trevor’s town. As the reality, the film reflects that nobody is what they seem and life isn’t always fair.

Common part

In both cases, for students under and above the age of 14, after watching the film or the music video, it proposed that every student develop individually a project aimed primarily to their closest environment: family, friends, neighborhood or in the town they live in.

Students should be given few days to reflect on the question and then bring their answer to class. Some students may need certain help, they can be helped by making them think about people they could help (there is always someone). The students’ answers may vary a lot depending on the attitude of each one: from the most wildest ideas to the most original and committed.

Then they are invited to start up their pay it forward by handing out three “favor” cards (Annex_Card) to each one and explaining them that this chain has to start in school, their house, with their family and the environment outside of school. When they make any of these favors, they will hand the card, explain the activity and invite the person who received it to continue the pay it forward, doing other three.

Film "Chain of Favours" TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS: - ORIGINAL TITLE: Pay it forwad. - NATIONALITY: USA (2000) - DIRECTION: Mimi Leder.

This activity is proposed in the framework of the Solidarity Campaign 2021-2022: