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 felt someone expected you to forsake your integrity?
    • How important is it to you that you are seen as trustworthy? What about you makes you seem trustworthy/untrustworthy?
    • When was a time you were honest even though your honesty meant someone (maybe you) would get hurt? Why were you honest then?
    • Has there been a time when you were hurt by someone else's lies? Did it affect your relationship with that person?
    • Can you be too honest?
    • Can you have too much integrity? What if someone had to choose between personal integrity and the welfare of a group they belong to?
    • Have you ever experienced circumstances where it would have been helpful for you to be more honest, trustworthy, or truer to your values?
    • What are the areas of your life now where you could apply the virtues of integrity, honesty, trust, and trustworthiness to help you be the person you want to be?

Description of Activity

Participants understand how the use of integrity 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.

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. Affirm that living a life of integrity is not easy. Challenges will arise throughout our lives; living according to our vales, being true to ourselves, is a lifelong endeavor. If appropriate, share with the group a time when you were disappointed in your own behavior. Help youth understand that we will fall short, but recognizing it and committing to do better next time is a hallmark of a person with integrity.

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 integrity, honesty, and trust. 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.