Faith CoLab: 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 was a time you exhibited loyalty?
    • What made it possible for you be loyal in this instance?
    • Have you ever experienced circumstances where it would have been helpful for you to be more loyal?
    • What are the areas of your life now where using loyalty could help you be the person you want to be?

Description of Activity

Participants understand how the use of loyalty 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. Additional prompts you may add, while the group journals:

  • Who are the people in your life who are most loyal to you? Why do you think they are loyal?
  • What is the connection between loyalty and friendship?
  • Does your Unitarian Universalist faith inspire you to be loyal? If so, to what?
  • Have you ever had to make a decision where loyalties conflicted? What did you do? Were the consequences what you thought they would be?

Invite participants to share journal writing to their level of comfort. Listen to what is said.

When sharing is complete or after ten minutes, distribute participants' clipboards, new beads (one per youth), and decorating materials. Invite youth to decorate a bead while reflecting on their personal experiences with generosity. 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. Remind participants that since this workshop is the last one, their anklets are complete. Instead of a temporary bow to keep the ends together, suggest they place the anklet around their ankles to measure, and then use more beads to complete their anklet. Once youth are satisfied with their anklets, offer to help them tie heavy knots to close them.