Tapestry of Faith: Heeding the Call: A Program on Justicemaking for Junior High School Youth

Activity 2: The Roles of Laughter

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

Description of Activity

Youth explore the roles of laughter and joy in emotional and physical well-being.

Divide participants into three small groups and give each group one of the activities from Leader Resource 1, Laughter Vignettes. Tell them they will have five minutes to prepare, explaining that their vignette should last no more than two to three minutes.

Some possible questions for debriefing the activity include:

  • Which study or story was the most interesting to you? Why?
  • Which one applies to creating better health? How does better health connect to creating justice? (If youth do not contribute this idea, add it to the discussion: sometimes, while working to help heal a hurting world, we all get "bouke" or tired. It is important to have tools to help you during the trying times, and humor is one of those tools. Not only can humor break the ice between people at odds, but, these and other studies show, it can help you live a longer, healthier life. If this is true, a life with little joy or humor can also contribute to poor health and possibly shorten life.)
  • Why do you think Thomas Jefferson, in writing the Declaration of Independence, said people had a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"
  • Come back to Maslow's chart. It does not include humor as a human need. Should humor or joy or happiness be included on the chart as a human need? If so, add it to your chart.