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Activity 1: The Youth and the Guru - A Play
Activity time: 17 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 1, "The Youth and the Guru"
- Hanging nametags
- A picture frame with blank photo from Conundrum Corner
Preparation for Activity
- Decide how to divide up and assign actor parts.
- Make a copy of the script for each actor and each leader.
- Label name tags with the roles in the play.
- Determine what part of your meeting space will make the best stage.
Description of Activity
Participants perform "The Youth and the Guru." The play speaks of spirituality, soul, and conscience, and helps introduce all four curriculum sessions that focus on spiritual development.
"The Youth and the Guru" uses six actors. If you have fewer than six participants, let individuals play more than one part. If you have more than six, stop the play from time to time and reassign some parts to new people. The nametags are important to help actors as well as any audience keep track of who is who. The tags should be large enough for you to see at a distance. Actors playing more than one part should hold up the appropriate nametag when they read.
After the reading, ask participants what they think "The Youth and the Guru" is telling them about right and wrong. Do they ever think about having a soul, or what it is? Affirm or clarify that the soul is the deepest part of yourself, your human spirit. Do they think the conscience is part of the soul? What do they think of the quotation the Guru offers from Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "Conscience is the voice of the soul." Offer a definition of conscience as an internal sense of right and wrong. If conscience is connected to the soul, does this mean that deciding between right and wrong is a spiritual act?
NOTE: Some sixth graders will find these ideas heavy to digest. Lead them as deep as they are willing and able to go, then break off and do something different. Even minimal discussion will give the group the lighter ideas of the play to remember and consider when the session is over.
Point out the framed blank "photo" and ask them what they think it shows. Given the context of the play, some will probably guess that is supposed to "show" the soul. Can they see an image? (No.) But is there something there other than paper? That is up to them to decide.
Including All Participants
Quietly coach any participants with limited reading ability when they stumble over words. The play works fine with or without motion.