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

Activity 5: Practice

Part of Virtue Ethics

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • 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 was a time you practiced forgiveness?
    • What made it possible for you to forgive in this instance?
    • Have you ever experienced circumstances where it would have been helpful for you to be more forgiving?
    • In what areas of your life could practicing forgiveness help you become the person you want to be?

Description of Activity

Participants understand how the practice of forgiveness 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. While they work, you might offer these additional prompts:

  • What is the relationship between forgiving and forgetting?
  • When someone has hurt others greatly, how can you let them know you are forgiving them but do not condone their actions? Is it even your responsibility to let them know this?

Invite participants to share journal writing to their level of comfort. You may wish to remind youth that you are a mandated reporter and, if anyone discloses behavior that could be dangerous to themselves or others, you will need to report it. Listen to what is said.

When sharing is complete or after ten minutes, invite youth to take the next five minutes to decorate cork beads. Distribute participants' clipboards, new beads (one per youth), and decorating materials. Invite youth to decorate a bead while reflecting on their personal experiences with forgiveness. Remind them that the beads will act as a reminder to use 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.