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ACTIVITY: "Bury Our Grudges"

TIME: 20-40 MIN

FOCUS: Forgive; ALSO: Respect Self & Others, Act Courageously

 
STEP 1 PERSONAL REFLECTIONS
  • Share a personal example of how hard it is at times to forgive those who have hurt you and how it may take a long time to be able to forgive some hurts.
  • Ask students to think of a time when they were forgiven and how it felt to be forgiven. If time permits, have them write these reflections in a journal
 
STEP 2 - SETTING THE STAGE
  • With some appropriate music in the background, give each student a boulder a symbol of the hardness and heaviness of grudges.
  • OPTION: Use pieces of paper instead of boulders
 
STEP 3 IDENTIFY GRUDGES AND WRITE ONE ON A BOULDER
  • Ask students to make a list of some of the grudges they have been carrying.
  • Have them choose a grudge that they feel ready to let go of at this moment or would be like to be to let go of in the future and write that grudge on the boulder (or paper), using the name of the person(s) who hurt them.
 
STEP 4 BURIAL CEREMONY (sample "eulogy" on the next page)
  • Have students form a funeral procession, following the leader to the "mortuary" where each student files past an open box ("casket"). Those who are ready to let go of their grudge drop their boulders in the box. The others keep their boulders.
  • From the "mortuary," the funeral procession, with 4 students ("pallbearers") carrying the "casket," goes to the "cemetery," where the "casket" is laid down.
  • Read the "Eulogy," after which each student files past the casket, takes a handful or cupful of dirt from another box, and places it over grudge boulders.
 
STEP 5 REFLECTION
  • After students return to their seats, have them reflect quietly on the experience, perhaps writing their thoughts and feelings on paper or in a journal.
  • They might also be asked to share some of these in pairs, small groups, or as a whole group.
 
CHECKLIST FOR THIS ACTIVITY
  • Boulders (or pieces of paper) for the grudges
  • Appropriate "funeral" music
  • Decide the "Mortuary" and "Cemetery" places & route for the funeral procession
  • Empty box and a box of dirt for the burial


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