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 that you practiced respect?
    • What made it possible for you to practice respect in this instance?
    • Have you ever experienced circumstances where it would have been helpful for you to show more respect?
    • What are the areas of your life now where you could practice respect to help you be the person you want to be?

Description of Activity

Participants understand how the use of respect 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:

  • Are there individuals or groups of individuals that make respect a challenge? If so, what would help you to feel at least basic respect for them?
  • Are your friends respectful to others or do they like to put people down? If they frequently insult and disrespect others, how does this make you feel? What should you do about it?
  • How do fortune and fame influence whether or not we respect someone? Who does society or our peers tell us to respect and why?
  • On what do you base your level of respect? Do you respect someone more because they behave in virtuous ways? Do you respect someone more because they attain high levels of success in their chosen fields? Does the high school athlete being recruited by several colleges get more respect than the second string player or does the first chair violinist deserve more respect than the last chair player?
  • What does our first Principle ("The inherent worth and dignity of every person") say about the importance of respect to us as people of faith?
  • Is respect necessary for true feelings of compassion?

After five minutes, ask participants to stop. Invite volunteers to share journal writing, to their level of comfort. 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 respect. Remind them that the bead will act as a reminder to use the virtue of respect.

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.