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Activity 4: Role Play — We Can Make A Difference (10 minutes), Session 12: Making a Difference

In "Moral Tales," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Sound making instrument
  • Role play scenarios

Preparation for Activity

  • Choose one scenario from the suggestions below.

Description of Activity

Gather the children in a seated circle, with room for actors to play roles. Lead a role play using the scenario you have chosen:

Scenario: Don't Pass It On — How to Stop Gossip

In this role play the children are challenged to think about how to act responsibly if they hear someone talking meanly about someone else. Describe to them a scenario in which some children are telling a rumor about another. Ask for a volunteer to be the child whom the rumor is about.

Have the children stand in a line. At one end start the rumor that some child (make up a name, do not use a name of a child in the group) stole something from someone else, or threw up, or had a pants-wetting accident, or some such situation that would upset and embarrass a child this age. Have the children pretend to pass the rumor on down the line, going, "Pssst, pass it on," until it reaches the last person, who has agreed to pretend to be the person the rumor is about. Ask that person how it would feel if they found out that people were telling that story about them. (Possible answers: mad, sad, embarrassed.)

Then tell the children that they are to imagine that someone has started this rumor, by whispering it in someone's ear. Ask the children to imagine that someone told it to them and said, "Pass it on". Ask them for suggestions as to how to take responsibility for not hurting someone's feelings. Possible answers:

  • Refuse to pass it on
  • Pass it on but correct the hurtful information to say, "So-and-so didn't steal money, or "So-and-so fell in the mud during soccer and that's why their pants were wet," or "So-and-so didn't throw up."
  • Say, "It's not nice to spread stories about other people."

Scenario: Don't Exclude Me! — How to Make Sure No One Is Left Out

In this role play the children are challenged to think about how to act responsibly if they notice someone being excluded on purpose or simply left out. Describe to the children a situation at school, such as at recess, or in the lunch room in which a group of children are playing a game, or sitting together. Another child wants to join in but some of the children tell him/her that there is no more room, or they have enough people already.

Pick all but one of the children to be the players and one child who doesn't mind being the "child left out." Have them role play the game to the point where they tell the child that he/she can't play. Then have that child tell the group how that felt to be left out. (Possible answers: sad, lonely, not fair, mad.)

Then have the children act out the scene again, imagine the scene again but this time ask them to brainstorm how they might do something to help include everyone. Possible answers:

  • Sit a turn out if the game can only have a certain number of people.
  • Tell your friends that you want to include that new child and everyone should take turns.
  • Ask that child if he/she wants to do something else with you, or go sit somewhere else with that child if you can't get the group to agree, or if there aren't enough chairs.

Including All Participants

If any children are disrespectful or disruptive or you are worried that they might be, do not assign them roles that require respectful engagement. You can ask them to sit quietly and watch, or give them a "fidget object" and ask them to sit quietly and watch.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Friday, May 11, 2012.

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