Tapestry of Faith: Families: A Jr. High School Youth Program that Explores the Diversity, Commonality, and Meaning of Families

Activity 4: Family Continuum

Part of Families

Activity time: 10 minutes

Description of Activity

Invite participants to do a continuum activity. Explain that you will read a number of statements. After each statement, participants will place themselves on a continuum that is as wide as the room and extends from strongly agree to strongly disagree. As a group, decide where the two endpoints and the midpoint of the continuum will be. Read the statements and invite participants to move to a spot on the continuum that best represents what they think or feel. Ask for volunteers to explain why they placed themselves where they did. Be sure to keep the pace lively.

Continuum statements:

  • The perfect family has a mother, father, boy, and girl.
  • If two people live together they are a family.
  • Kids have to have families to grow up.
  • Your family has to love you, no matter what you do.
  • A person can be part of more than one family.
  • Everyone is part of some family.
  • Religions and congregations should guide families.
  • A perfect family does not have conflicts.
  • You cannot choose your family.
  • You have only one family.
  • Perfect families do not exist.

Talk about this notion of "a perfect family." Often the media portrays the typical family as consisting of a mother, father, brother, and sister. However, the reality is that a very small number of families actually reflect this composition. Throughout Families, participants will be asked to examine this idea of a "perfect family": where does it originate, how is it used, and how does it reflect our reality.