7.5  Lesson Four – Dramatizing my rules for living

Time required: 75 minutes

Materials required: chart paper and marker pens

Teacher instructions:

As a follow-up to the discussion and writing activities in the previous lessons in this section of the curriculum, the students are divided into small groups. A group size of three or four is ideal. Each group plans and acts out a skit, scenario or situation in which an individual is challenged in terms of adhering to his/her values, principles or “rules for living”.

The students should be advised that the scenarios performed by the groups should not contain harsh language, excessive negativity or rough, physical contact. The students are advised not to use the names of real individuals in the context of these scenarios. Efforts should be made to bring each scenario to a positive resolution if any conflict is involved.

Some of the scenarios can be outlined on the blackboard or on chart paper. The teacher may also wish to make the scenarios available to the students as a handout prior to class.

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Below are some suggested ideas for developing scenarios. The teacher or the students may wish to develop other scenarios. The skits/scenarios can touch on ethical issues such as smoking, bullying, shoplifting, bike helmet regulations and the posting of graffiti on buildings:

  • An individual and his/her best friend find themselves in complete disagreement about the correct approach to a moral issue in society. Example: you and your best friend are having a discussion about smoking. Both of you agree that smoking is dangerous to one’s health. In your local community, it is illegal for a person under 18 years of age to purchase cigarettes. You believe that the legal age should be raised to 20. Your friend disagrees because he/she believes that by the age of 18, young people should have the right to make decisions about their own life and health.
  • An individual stands up for his/her values, but in following his/her principles, he/she goes against the peer pressure or wishes of others. Example: you and a group of your friends are walking home from school. One friend suggests that the group post graffiti on the rear wall of a local store. You believe that this is not the right thing to do. You explain your position and challenge the group not to proceed with this act.
  • An individual does not stand up for her/his principles, for a number of reasons, including acceptance from peers. Example: you and a group of your friends are walking home from school. One friend suggests that the group post graffiti on the rear wall of a local store. The group agrees to this proposal and you decide to join them in this act. Later, you regret your decision and speak to the group about your concerns.
  • A real-life experience in which an individual stands up for his/her principles and goes against the peer pressure or wishes of others.
  • An individual stands up for his/her values in a situation where he/she is faced with great opposition. After the experience, the individual shares the story of that experience with his/her friends who support and congratulate the individual for sticking to his/her principles.
  • An individual is planning to get involved in a situation that his/her peers believe to be morally unacceptable. The peer group convinces the individual to change his/her mind about this activity.

When completed, the skits/scenarios are presented to the class. The teacher uses the content of the presentations to provoke further discussion on the place of values, principles, and “rules for living” in individual and community life.

Journal activity – let’s write about it!

For journal questions to stimulate the students’ written reflections after or during class, see Appendix 4.