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

Activity 6: Practice

Part of Virtue Ethics

Activity time: 15 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 your actions were generous?
    • What made it possible for you to be generous in this instance?
    • Have you ever experienced a situation where it would have been helpful to me more generous?
    • In what areas of your life now could you use generosity to help you be the person you want to be?

Description of Activity

Participants understand how the use of generosity 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. Remind participants one can be generous with many different resources, not just money. For example, you can give your time, your talent, your feelings, or your knowledge.

Additional prompts you may add, while the group journals:

  • What can I uniquely share with my community (family, friends, congregation, city, world)?
  • Whose generosity have I not acknowledged?
  • Whose generosity do I admire? Why?
  • Do I use one type of generosity too much because I am afraid or unwilling to give of myself in other ways?

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. If needed, guide the group toward concrete examples of practicing the virtue of generosity in real life. If remarks seem too abstract, challenge youth to create specific “to do” items based on their reflections.

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.

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.