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

Activity 5: Practice

Part of Virtue Ethics

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Participants’ journals, and writing instruments
  • Participants’ clipboards with anklets (Workshop 1, Activity 3, Practice)
  • Beads, and waterproof markers and/or other decorations
  • Extra clipboards and string/hemp, and scissors

Preparation for Activity

  • If needed, read instructions for making the anklets in the Before You Start section of the program Introduction and in Workshop 1, Decision Making.
  • Retrieve participants’ clipboards with anklets, and participants’ journals if these are also kept on-site.
  • Write on newsprint, and post:
    • When have you felt courageous?
    • What is the most courageous act you have ever witnessed?
    • Who are your role models of courage? Why?
    • Have you ever experienced circumstances where it would have been helpful for you to be more courageous?
    • In what areas of your life now could you apply the virtue of courage to help you be the person you want to be?

Description of Activity

Participants understand how the use of courage affects their lives.

Invite youth to take five minutes to journal, using the questions on newsprint as prompts, or to draw or meditate on the questions. You may offer these additional prompts while the group is journaling:

  • Have you experienced a time you lacked courage? What were you afraid of? Was your fear legitimate?
  • When has fear prevented you from doing something you really wanted to do? How did that feel? Do you have regrets?
  • How do you deal with regret? Do you feel you have a healthy relationship with regret?
  • Sometimes lack of courage leaves us feeling guilty. Yet, guilt is generally not a productive emotion. Remember the quote from Workshop 8, “Compassion directed to oneself is humility.” Is there something you are feeling guilty about? Does it help to remember that we all sometimes fall short, but we can try again tomorrow to find our courage to be the best person we can be?
  • Remember that one virtue we said should be combined with all other virtues is moderation. What does moderation in courage look like?

After five minutes, ask participants to stop. Invite volunteers to share journal writing, to their level of comfort. Remind youth that you are a mandated reporter: If anyone discloses behavior that could be dangerous to themselves or others, you will need to report it. Listen to what the youth say.

When sharing is complete or after ten minutes, distribute participants’ clipboards, new beads (one per youth), and decorating materials. Invite youth to take the next five minutes to decorate a bead while reflecting on their personal experiences with courage. Remind them that the bead will act as a reminder to live according to their highest values.

As participants finish, have them add this bead to the anklet they started in Workshop 1.

If any participant missed Workshop 1, provide them with a clipboard, hemp, a bead for their name bead, and instruction to begin their anklet.

Collect journals, clipboards, and anklet-making materials, and store for the next workshop.