This is a training activity to help your staff think through why the kids they serve act out, are fearful, angry, depressed – this list could go on. Below you will find Instructions, Possible Children, and Debriefing Questions. The craft supplies can be anything you choose to use
You are in a public school classroom. You are to create something with the craft items in the bag. Read who you are on the slip of paper in the bag. This is not a time for you to act like a child. This is a time for you to think and internalize what might be going on INSIDE of this child. Try to get in touch with the child’s feelings and thoughts. How might the child view life?
You will have 10 minutes to experience the child while creating your craft. You may interact with others if you desire.
You are a first grader. Your mother is a prostitute; you have never met your father. Your mother doesn’t know who it is.
You are a first grader. Your mother and father live together when your father isn’t in jail. You hardly know him because he has been in jail most of your life.
You are a first grader. Your parents live together but there is a lot of yelling and screaming between them. You hide in your room when that goes on.
You are a first grader. Your father is raising you alone, your mother died at birth. You have 3 older siblings. Your father works three jobs to support you. Your older sister is in 7th grade and is mostly responsible for you.
You are a first grader. You come from a healthy home. Your parents have been married ten years. You are the oldest of three. Your mother sells Mary Kay to help out. Your father is a mechanic. They have just purchased your home.
You are a first grader. You have five older brothers. The oldest three are in gangs. Each of you have a different father. Your mother is on welfare. You see your dad about once a year.
You are a first grader. You live with your grandmother. She is raising six kids from three of her own children. She is tired. She is about 45 years old. She has no husband. She is a secretary.
You are a first grader. You live with your aunt and uncle. Your mother died in child birth you have never met your father. Your aunt and uncle are overwhelmed with you and your 2 siblings plus their own 4.
You are a first grader. You live with foster parents who have 5 other foster kids. This is the fourth home you’ve been in since you were taken from your mother 2 years ago.
You are a first grader. You witnessed your father shot to death. Your mother has gone into a deep depression. You never know what her mood will be when you get home. You have two younger siblings who you watch when your mom stays in bed.
You are a first grader. You live with your mother and father. Your mother is a stay at home mom. Your father works two jobs so your mom can stay home with you and your three siblings.
You are a first grader. You live with your mother and 6 older siblings. You are the youngest. Your father has been in jail since before you were born. Your oldest brother is in high school and dropped out to get a job to help your mom.
You are a first grader. You live with your grandparents. They are providing a good stable home for your and your 8 year old sister. They are both retired.
You are a first grader. You live in a foster home. You have been in this home since you were born. They want to adopt you but the state won’t let them because you are of Native American descent and the tribe is fighting for you. This has brought much stress into your life. They are the only family you know.
You are a first grader. You live with your brother who is 18. You never knew your father. Your mother abandoned the family six months ago. This is a secret at school. You have five siblings that range from 8 to the 18 year old. Everyday when you go to school your siblings tell you things to say about your mom so the teacher won’t catch on.
You are a first grader. Your mother supports your family by having parties where she sells sex paraphernalia. You are told to go to your bedroom but you listen and peek to all that is going on. It has made you sexually savvy and your sexual vocabulary is very advanced.
You are a first grader. You live in a two parent home. Both of your parents work. Your mom has a job so she is home by the time you get home from school.
You are a first grader. You live with you father who is a male prostitute. You do not know he is a prostitute. He has the first signs of aids and is sick a lot.
You are a first grader. You live in a welfare hotel with your mother. She is a panhandler. She keeps you dirty because she can get more money. The teacher has been teaching you how to take showers and clean yourself up but it makes your mother angry.
You are a first grader. You live with your mother who is a prostitute. Your father was pretty good but he did some petty larceny and got caught and was deported to Mexico.
You are a first grader. You live with your mother who is a widow. You have one older brother and a younger sister. Your mother is on welfare and cannot speak English.
You are a first grader. Your parents are legal immigrants from Honduras. They have waited a long time to come. They do not speak English. Your father works at a local church that sponsored your coming. Your mother is afraid to go out of the house. You have three siblings.
You are a first grader. Your oldest brother is 16 and in a gang he killed four boys in a rival gang when he was 14. You sleep in the same room with him and at night he wakes up screaming in fear. He has told you that he doesn’t expect to live through any day. Your mother is trying to hold the family together, she is totally overwhelmed. Your father is an alcoholic and is in and out of the house.
You are a first grader. You live with your mother and father. Your father is an alcoholic and beats your mother. Your mother protects you and your siblings from his wrath when he is drunk. She doesn’t go out much because she doesn’t want people to see her bruises. When sober your father is the best father in the world.
You are a first grader. You live in a home with your own parents and siblings, two sets of aunts and uncles and cousins. The house is always in chaos. Things don’t quiet down until1 a.m.so sleep is short. None of the adults speak English. All of the children speak English and speak to each other in English when they don’t want the adults to know what they are saying. This causes a lot of strife in the home.
You are a first grader. You live with your parents who only speak Russian. Your oldest brother is 14 and just initiated into a gang. He does not respect your parents because they haven’t learned English in the 10 years they have been here – that makes it hard for them to get work. He joined the gang for survival. You feel caught in the middle between your brother’s values and your parents.
Observe them as they wrestle with who they are. Do they interact with the other “kids?”
What did they make and why?
Ask them to share what they are feeling right now.