Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Paper and pencils for small groups to use
- Optional: Simple props suggesting Victorian-era wealth or poverty, such as costume jewelry, dress-up garments and accessories, ragged garments, or food items from a play kitchen
- A bell, chime, rain stick or other musical noisemaker
Preparation for Activity
- Identify an open area for small groups to present improvised skits.
Description of Activity
Form small groups of three to seven participants. Tell them that each group will create a Dickens-style skit that illustrates extremes of wealth and poverty. Allow that some group members may opt out of performing the skit as long as enough others are willing to perform and each non-performing child participates meaningfully (as a planner/writer, props person, director, etc.).
Invite groups to choose a situation and setting where the very rich and the very poor would naturally encounter one another. You may wish to suggest or assign settings-for example, a playground, a restaurant, a bookstore, a shopping mall, a church or a public park.
Give groups five minutes to plan their skits. Sound the chime when time is up, and reconvene the entire group. Invite groups, one at a time, to present their skits.
After each skit, guide the entire group to process:
- What were the poor people like in the skits?
- What were the rich people like?
- In what ways were the poor and the rich people alike? What did they have in common?
- How realistic or exaggerated were your performances? What did it feel like to pretend to be these characters?
- What can we learn, and how can our faithful actions be guided, by noticing and responding to inequities in our society?
Including All Participants
Position children with vision or hearing disabilities where they can best experience the movie.