Create a REAL. LIFE. poem with your group
Adapt this lesson plan, originally used in a social studies class, for use in public schools, Christian schools, other private schools, homeschools, and other groups
Before touring the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit with your group, ask them to be prepared to identify one situation in the exhibit that touched them the most and later write a few sentences about it. When you return from the tour of the exhibit, ask your group to write a response. (If you want to give them specific questions to prime the pump, see the list below.) Encourage your group to write from their hearts.
After collecting the responses, divide the gruop into smaller groups of four to six people. Give each group several of the responses, and ask them to read what other group members wrote, and underline or highlight one or two key statements or phrases in each response.
Then ask each group to record those statement or phrases on a sheet of paper. Collect all of the groups’ sheets, and combine them into a group REAL. LIFE. poem. (Or ask several of the more articulate group members to create the final poem.)
Distribute the completed poem to the group.
Here is a sample poem written by a social studies class:
REAL. LIFE. Poem
We all have pretty good lives, but sometimes we take that for granted,
forgetting the children who suffer.
Disasters are terrible; the emotions you feel are even worse.
Imagine having your house destroyed . . .
Imagine living in a dump . . .
Imagine living on $1 a day . . .
The water rises and crashes. I bow my head and pray.
I look up and a civilization floats away in the blink of an eye.
Disposable soldiers, picked off like flies;
kill or be killed is how they live their lives.
Children always crying, children almost dying.
The water rises higher and higher, screams echoing off.
MAMA! MAMA! The echo is lost in the waves.
As we sleep with joyous dreams, babies sleep on rusted screens.
Every day, every place, innocent children die of a preventable cause.
All these children are dying, and to think . . . it could have been me.
Who will help them?
I want to do something.
Questions to prime the pump:
1. What part of the exhibit touched me the most? Why?
2. What is REAL. LIFE. like for my peers in various parts of the world?
3. What would it be like if I were involved in a natural disaster?
4. What would it be like if I were a victim of conflict and needed to flee my home?
5. What would it be like if I (or someone on my family) were HIV positive or had AIDS?
6. What would it be like if I lived on less than $1 a day?
7. What would it be like if I were placed in an orphanage because my parents could not afford to keep me?
8. What would it be like if I were ill and received only the care offered in many third-world hospitals?
9. If I could do one thing to make a difference in this world, what would it be? What can I do to make a difference now?
10. What does hope look like for the peope I met in the exhibit?