Activity 1: An Awful Day Round-Robin Story
Activity time: 10 minutes
Description of Activity
Ask your group to create a round-robin story featuring ways that small sins or wrongdoings that people commit mess up sixth-grade lives. If your group is large, you might want to divide it and create two stories, with one leader assisting each group.
Get things started with an explanation like this:
People sometimes sin, or do wrong, in small ways that bother us. The wrongs are not always huge. Nevertheless, we do get bothered; even by the minor failings of other people, as well as our own.
What is a bad day like? We can find out by creating a round-robin story. I will start the story off with two sentences. Then we will go around the room and each of you can add one or two sentences that continue the story. The title of the story is "An Awful Day." It tells about a sixth grader who is having an awful day because of the wrongdoings of other people, and, perhaps, his/her own. There will probably be sixth graders acting badly in the story, and maybe a brother or a sister or a teacher, too. We will have to wait and find out. Remember, we are not talking about huge things. Most sixth graders suffer from minor crimes like spreading rumors, or - but you know better than I do. So here are the first two sentences: I was still half asleep when I climbed on the school bus that awful day. That's because I got up late, and I got up late because my older sister was busy downloading music to her MP3 player and forgot to call me on time."
Indicate the direction the story will travel around the circle, and ask one participant to create the next segment. If anybody objects, saying that they do not know much about sixth grade because they are home-schooled, tell them to use their imagination.
Let the story keep building around the circle until time or ideas run short. Call a halt and conclude the activity with a summary comment, noting that you have just heard about lots of different wrongs.
Ask for quick responses to these questions:
Have you ever had a day that had only good and virtue in it, when nothing bad happened? Could you have a whole year like that?
At the end of the story, ask how the youth would have reacted if they were having a day like the one in the story. Would they have been virtuous and forgiven everybody along the way? Or would they have gotten angry and told everyone off?