Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth

Activity 3: Practice

Part of Virtue Ethics

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Journals and writing instruments
  • For anklets: String or hemp, beads, waterproof markers and/or other bead-decorating materials, scissors, and clipboards (one for each youth)
  • Optional: Computer with Internet access and a large monitor or digital projector

Preparation for Activity

  • Obtain a journal for each youth.
  • Read tips for planning the anklets in the Before You Start section of the program Introduction. Watch instructional videos: How to Make a Simple Beaded Hemp Anklet on YouTube, or videos on the website, How To Make Jewelry. Optional: Arrange to show the videos to the youth.
  • Obtain the materials for making the anklets. Each participant will need a clipboard to use for the duration of the program, some string/hemp, and 12 beads to decorate. Cork beads are recommended.
  • Gather bead-decorating materials-for example, paints, brushes, and cups for water. Test the decorating materials on the beads you have chosen to make sure decorations will adhere.
  • Identify a place to keep journals and anklet-making materials between meetings. Decide whether you will allow the youth to take journals home.
  • Optional: If someone in your congregation makes jewelry as a hobby or profession, invite them to come to this workshop and help the youth begin making their anklets.

Description of Activity

Participants receive journals, start building their anklets, and become familiar with the recurring Practice activity.

Tell the group, in your own words:

The goal of spending time together discussing ethical decision making is to help us practice for real life. Therefore, every workshop will include three elements: Some talk about real life ethical issues, an activity to examine hypothetical ethical dilemmas, and "Practice," a time for you to decide individually on the importance of the featured virtue in your life and plan how you wish to nurture this virtue in the future. During the Practice activity, you will have time to capture your thoughts in personal journals.

Distribute journals and writing implements. Continue:

Today, please write your name on your journal. We will start working in the journals next time.

What you write in your journal is yours alone to know. You will have opportunities to share your thoughts with the group, for those who wish to do so. Thoughts can be written, drawn, or captured in any way you choose.

You will also be encouraged to express your feelings about the featured virtue artistically. Every Practice activity will allow time to decorate a bead. The beads will be strung together to make an anklet. The anklet will be made of waterproof material so it will be safe in the shower or bath. You can wear your anklet as long as you like and it will be a reminder to you of your commitment to make ethical decisions.

Today, you can decorate a name bead. Include your initials or name if you wish, but take a moment to decorate it uniquely to express something about who you are. After you have decorated the first bead, we will start building the base of the anklet.

If a guest will help the youth start their anklets, introduce the guest. If you are using an instructional video, show it now.

Distribute beads and markers. Allow seven minutes to decorate the name bead, but if everyone finishes earlier, distribute clipboards and hemp and guide the youth to begin the anklets.

As youth are ready, help them add the first bead and knot the hemp to hold the bead on.

Watch the time. Leave a few minutes to collect the clipboards and anklets, and the journals if you plan to keep them between meetings, and to put away art materials.