Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth

Activity 1: Fairy Tale Love

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Art supplies, including drawing paper, pencils, markers, colored pencils, and other materials
  • Newsprint or a dry erase board and markers
  • Journals and pens or pencils
  • Optional: CD player and music

Preparation for Activity

  • If youth will be free to work in other spaces, make sure you have secured space for them to use. You will also need to check on them and have a way to call them back into the shared space.

Description of Activity

Through drawing, participants visit their own notions of "fairy tale love" and examine the difference between love and infatuation.

Make sure each participant has a pen/pencil and his/her journal. Draw two columns on a piece of newsprint or the dry erase board. As you write the word "infatuation" at the top of the left-hand column, ask the group to write in their journals their own completion of this sentence: You know you're really infatuated when...

Wait until participants have finished writing. Then, as you write the words "in love" at the top of the right-hand column, ask the group to write their own completion of this sentence: You know you are really in love when...

When participants are done, invite them to share their fill-ins. Write each contribution, or phrases from it, in the appropriate column. As you collect participants' contributions, prompt observations and discussion. Use these questions:

  • What is the key difference between true love and infatuation?
  • What causes us to mistake one for the other?

Make the art supplies available. Tell the group, "Most of us have some version of a fairy tale romance in our heads, complete with a happy ending. Please draw a picture that represents your own fairy tale of true love as it is in your mind right now. Try not to edit it, even if you think it is a bit far out."

Let participants disperse and draw. Tell them how much time they have before they must reconvene. If the group enjoys background music while they work, play music. Monitor youth who are not in the shared space. Give a two-minute warning before the end of the work period.

When the group reconvenes, ask for volunteers to share their pictures show-and-tell style. Remind participants that it is fine to pass if they feel their pictures are too personal.

As volunteers present their drawings, invite each one to say more about his/her picture, using this question as a prompt:

  • What would make your fairy tale more real but still retain its magic? What would the "reality" version look like?

Lead the entire group to explore these questions:

  • What does Unitarian Universalism have to say about romantic love? How could we apply the principles of Unitarian Universalist faith to the notion of romantic love?
  • Ask the following if participants have completed the Our Whole Lives program: What messages does the Our Whole Lives program send about romantic love?
  • What does your faith tell you about a broken heart and ways to heal it?