Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Riddle and Mystery: A Program on the Big Questions for Grade 6

Alternate Activity 4: Questioning Fun

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape
  • Optional: Collections of riddles and other jokes involving questions, as well as UU jokes

Preparation for Activity

  • Gather examples of riddles, games and other amusements that involve questions. You might do an Internet search to collect a few "kid jokes" or "knock-knock jokes."

Description of Activity

This light-hearted activity makes the important point that questions can be fun as well as thought-provoking and reinforces that questions are a vital part of life.

Invite youth to talk about fun with questions. Explain that we can have different feelings about different questions. Some questions may cause us to say "Huh?" Other questions might cause fear. Ask for examples of scary questions. (Some possibilities: What is that hairy thing crawling up your leg? Did you hear what happened to so-and-so? Are you ready for a test on yesterday's homework?)

Point out that people spend lots of time and energy on questions that are meant for entertainment. Ask for some examples and record them on newsprint. Responses might include quiz shows, games like Jeopardy and Twenty Questions, riddles and other jokes.

Ask why question-and-answer jokes are so popular. (One reason might be that the question makes you think before you hear the punch line, and while you are thinking, you are expecting something funny, so you tend to laugh even at jokes that are not very funny.)

Ask youth to describe any questioning games they like. Invite them to share any jokes they know involving questions. Point out that they are in a religious exploration program, and request that they share jokes that are on the clean side and do not make fun of other people. You might say:

The rule is: If in doubt, keep it to yourself. Some jokes that you and your friends find harmless and fun may not be appropriate here.

If nobody has mentioned knock-knock jokes, mention them yourself and give an example. (Knock knock. Who's there? Ben. Ben who? Ben knocking so long my hand hurts.) Ask for other examples. Then challenge the group to complete this sequence: "Knock knock. / Who's there? / UU. / UU who?" Possible completions include: "You, you usually are," and "You, you UU." The completions do not have to be great.

If you have time and feel comfortable, mention that there are jokes about Unitarian Universalists which involve questions. One of the best known begins: "Why did the UU cross the road?" One answer is: "To support the chicken in its search for its own path."

As time allows and as appropriate, contribute additional questioning jokes of your own.

End by asking if participants are surprised to realize how questions bring fun, connection to others and maybe even a sense of meaning to our lives.