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

Activity 3: Forgiveness Maze

Part of Virtue Ethics

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Handouts 1-2, Maze
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Highlighters or erasable color pencils

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the instructions on Handout 1 carefully. Make a sample maze to show the youth.
  • Copy Handouts 1-2, Maze, for all participants.

Description of Activity

Participants create mazes to illustrate paths to forgiveness.

Tell the group that you will guide them to reflect on a few questions about forgiveness. Invite them to get comfortable and close their eyes if they wish.


Think of forgiveness as a path. It starts when someone has been hurt or wronged. Perhaps the hurt party is you. Or, perhaps you are the one who has hurt another. How will you maneuver through the path to a place where you can forgive, or can be forgiven?

Have you ever lost a friend because one of you could not forgive the other? What blocked forgiveness?

Have you ever forgiven a friend a big hurt? What helped you forgive?

Has a friend ever forgiven you a big hurt? Do you think any actions on your part helped your friend along the path to forgiveness?

If forgiveness is a path, can you identify doorways to forgiveness? Sometimes an apology can be a doorway. Sometimes a doorway is refusing to hang on to shame or hate.

Can you identify road blocks on the forgiveness path? If someone does not admit to wrongdoing, is it harder for you to forgive? If you are afraid to own up to a hurt you caused, afraid to face our own shame, is that a road block?

Invite youth to take these thoughts and create a maze of forgiveness. Distribute Handouts 1 and 2, Maze. Tell the youth they have 15 minutes to follow all the steps to construct the maze. Give them five-minute and two-minute warnings.

Call the larger group back together. Ask:

  • What road blocks on the path to forgiveness did you identify? What doorways?
  • How could this maze help you in the future to practice forgiveness? Are there action steps you can use in a real life situation?