Activism

Leading question
Objectives
Duration
Location
Media and other materials needed
Sequence
Personal ideas or experiences to share
Supplementary titles/activities

Leading question: What is of ultimate concern? In other words, what are the things that are most important, the things that should call us to political action?

Objectives: Awareness of suffering and of the ways we can make a difference in our communities.

Duration: Evening for the movie/lesson, then afternoon or evening later that week for service.

Location: Home and someplace in the local community where we can serve, whether it be a neighbor’s house or a soup kitchen.

Media and other materials needed:

• Either Oliver (1968) or A Time for Drunken Horses (2000), depending on how old the kids are and whether they can read subtitles.

• Photos, journal entries, etc. of either an ancestor of family member that took action against suffering.

• Appointment somewhere to do service. Ideas: homeless shelter, elderly neighbor, soup kitchen, school for disabled children, hospital, etc.

Sequence:

1. Show the film. (Oliver is fun and much more appropriate if you have very young children; A Time for Drunken Horses is a Kurdish film that is more serious and subtitled, so it works better for children a bit older.)

2. Tell about a personal experience or a story from family history. For example, if we are taking the Oliver route, I could talk about my ancestors that worked as children in the dark coal mines of Wales. If we are watching A Time for Drunken Horses, I could talk about my experiences in the Middle East in the Palestinian refugee camps and handicapped homes.

3. Service. Of course, we can’t single-handedly solve the problems of child labor, hunger, or the plight of the Kurdish people, but we can certainly help in our own community. This can be hard for kids. I always found it hard as a kid to leave my comfort zone and help people that are disabled or sick.

Personal ideas or experiences to share:

• Suffering ancestor stories—from the coal mines to crossing the plains.

• Freezing at my British school with no heat when I was in first and second grade.

• All those times I visited schools, hospitals, refugee camps in the Middle East.

• Talk about how I was disgusted and hated going to my sister’s elementary school for handicapped students to do activities with them. But when I was older, I volunteered at the same school and my experience was completely different—I had learned better how to love and serve others.

Supplementary titles/activities:

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Life is Beautiful (1997)

• National Geographic magazines