Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers and tape
- Optional for higher-energy approach: Large paper outline of a human figure, sticky notes, and pencils or pens
Preparation for Activity
- Decide on the best approach for your group.
- Post blank newsprint.
Description of Activity
Ask participants to identify what human characteristics need to be covered by rules. In other words, what characteristics lead people to commit wrong acts?
Brainstorm their ideas, making two lists: things that cannot or do not need to be controlled, such as breathing, and things that should be controlled, such as fists that can hit people. Once you have two lists of a dozen or so such items, ask for comments and discussion. Does everybody agree with the ideas on each list? Who should control the things that need to be controlled-individuals, the government, or some other entity? Who does control them? Should we or can we have rules to prevent absolutely everything that people can do wrong? Can we or should we have rules that require people to do everything they can possibly do that is right?
Consider sparking the conversation with some ideas that will engage youth: the question of hairstyles, for example. Should schools control the length or color of students' hair? What if dangerous gang members are all dying their hair the same color?
Conclude by summarizing the ideas the youth have offered.
Higher-energy option: Enliven this activity by placing a large outline of a human figure where all youth can reach it and asking them to offer ideas by writing them on sticky notes and attaching them to the outline.
Including All Participants
If you use the higher-energy approach, be sure that your human outline is located where all can reach it.