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

Alternate Activity 1: Acting Like A Family

Part of Families

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Masking tape
  • Markers
  • Poster board

Description of Activity

Tell participants, "This activity will give you a chance to think about what you know about families and then work together and act out being in a family." Randomly divide participants into groups that will be "families." Since families are a variety of sizes, vary the sizes of the groups. After you designate the groups, explain their tasks.

Ask each group to define and create a visual representation of itself as a family. The groups need to decide the role of each member of their family. Using their photographs or the sketches they made when they arrived, have the groups create a poster depicting their family. The posters will function like movie posters and "advertise" scenes the groups will create later in this activity. Have groups use masking tape to assemble the posters so the photos can be removed later and returned to the larger poster they created during the Welcome. Have participants who arrived too late to be photographed, or to create a sketch of themselves, draw a quick sketch now for this activity.

Next, have each group come up with a family scene to perform in a skit. Ask participants to think about scenes they envision when they think of a family-perhaps scenes from their own experiences within their own families or with others-and share them. Invite them to choose one to develop into a skit. Encourage groups to highlight family roles and responsibility, and tell them the skits can be humorous. Allow ten minutes for the groups to prepare. Sound a two-minute warning to alert groups that it is almost time to gather back in the large group.

When the participants have gathered into a large group, invite families to present their poster and then perform their skit.

Engage participants in discussion about the skits. Use the following prompts if they are helpful:

  • How did they decide which family members to include?
  • What influenced their ideas about who is in a family and what a family does?
  • What stereotypes did this exercise uncover?
  • What seems "easy" about being part of a family?
  • What seems challenging or "hard" about being part of a family?
  • What do the presented families have in common?

Including All Participants

Observe the small groups as they plan, to make sure everyone has an opportunity to contribute.