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Activity 4: WIT Time — Making Our Marks (12 minutes), Session 7: Stuff Happens

In "Riddle and Mystery," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Use Leader Resource 3 to prepare six newsprint sheets. On each sheet, write one of the bad events with plenty of room for youth to write around or under it. Or download the leader resource to your computer, enlarge the text and print each bad event on a separate page.
  • Post the newsprint sheets on walls or work tables with markers nearby.
  • On another sheet of newsprint, write the instructions for participants to rank the six bad events by severity and to indicate which ones UUs should do something about (see below). Post the newsprint.

Description of Activity

This activity asks youth to rank six bad events by severity and decide which ones UUs should try to do something about.

Say, in your own words:

Even when we know what caused a bad event to occur, we do not always know the answer to our Big Question: Why did it happen? One thing we can do is to put it in perspective. That means trying to decide how important it really is. Sometimes what seems horrible is not really so bad. Little kids do not understand this yet. For example, a small child can burst into tears if their balloon flies away. Kids your age are more able to put things in perspective.

A second thing you can do is to try to make things better. If life gives you a lemon, some people say, turn it into lemonade. Even when something really terrible happens, you can probably help make things a bit better.

Point out the sheets of newsprint you have placed around the room. Ask participants to take a marker and move around the room adding marks to all of the papers. Indicate the sheet of newsprint where you have posted the instructions of how to rank the events, and explain:

  • Write asterisks (*) to show how bad an event is. Put six asterisks on the worst event, one on the least serious event, and so forth.
  • Write "UU" on the event if you think UUs should do something about it.

When they have finished, have the group observe their work. Have they largely agreed about which events are most serious? Invite discussion.

Acknowledge that even the events marked as least serious can be very problematic. Help them identify what UUs might do about each of the events. We cannot stop a hurricane, but we can insist that good preparations are made for the next one, volunteer to build new housing or raise funds, and work to make sure everyone affected is treated fairly.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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