Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: What We Choose: An Adult Program on Ethics for Unitarian Universalists

Activity 1: The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Part of What We Choose

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Print the story. Familiarize yourself so you will be able to read or tell it.
  • Write on newsprint, and post:
    • What moral reasoning did the villagers employ to decide whether or not to the aid the boy when he called for help? Do you agree with them?
    • Was their moral reasoning consistent even though they changed their behavior from one instance to the next?
    • What part did the villagers play in the destruction of the flock of sheep?
    • What might be the back story for the boy? For the villagers? What social structures led him to be on his own caring for the village's sheep?
    • What community values does Aesop lift up in this story?
    • What personal values or virtues does Aesop lift up in this story?
    • Where is the locus of moral authority in this story? The individual? The community? God or the divine? Some other source?
    • Is this a story of moral consistency or inconsistency?
    • Have you experienced a situation that resembles or reminds you of this one? Have you ever invoked this tale in explaining your actions to another person?

Description of Activity

Read the story aloud. Then, invite participants to examine the moral reasoning and behavioral choices of the villagers using the posted questions to guide a discussion.

Including All Participants

Create a large-print handout that includes the discussion questions to assist those who are visually impaired.