Activity time: 15 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- If you plan to do use youth leaders, recruit them in advance of the session.
Description of Activity
This activity can be ably led by youth.
In this activity participants enter into the life of a family by "acting out" a food-related story or issue. Participants will develop skits that embody the family's life and dramatize a food related event. Tell participants, "You will work in small groups or pairs to create a skit that is about a family and food. You will create a family and then envision a scene in which the family has to deal with a food issue. A family's food choices are often influenced by cultural and economic factors, so you may want to consider that when you create your skit. Your skits should be short; no more than three minutes."
Have the youth form small groups or pairs. The amount of time you can allocate for this activity will determine the number of groups (and, therefore, the number of skits) you can allow. Encourage groups to envision a family and discuss the different kinds of foods the family members might eat. In their discussion, have them include issues or even conflicts the family members might have about certain foods.
- For more mature youth, you may wish to offer skit topics like vegetarianism, diets, body image, or eating for health.
- For junior high youth, providing fanciful titles like "Food Fiasco," "Mealtime Mutiny," or "A Super Supper" may spark their skit-building work.
Encourage participants to work together to portray a family that is realistic. Remind youth that families come in many diverse forms. If they end up creating stereotypes, they can work together to go beyond them. Participants may choose to break stereotypes in a way that is humorous or not. Encourage participants to draw on the previous discussion for ideas. Tell participants, "After you have worked for several minutes, we will gather and present the skits to each other." Monitor groups as they work, and give a two-minute warning when preparation time is nearly up.
Gather participants and invite groups to share their skits. You may wish to invite one or two youth to be the facilitators of this portion of the session. Help youth leaders encourage discussion after the skits. Encourage youth to comment about similarities and differences between skits and interpretations. Engage youth in deconstructing any stereotypes or prejudices that might emerge in their work. Use the following prompts as you see fit:
- What kinds of struggles do families have around food?
- What factors influence a family's diet?
- Does culture play a role in a family's decision concerning food?
- Why is food important in family life?
- When is food an area of conflict?
- When is food an expression of love or care?