Church Based After School: Teaching Kids That Choices Affect Others

(This is an exercise to help children think through how their choices affect others. This is one of the Life Skills from a KidTrek lesson on Joshua 7)

Objective: Kids will be taught that ungodly choices can hurt others.
Subjective: Kids will begin to see how their choices affect others.

Feeling Sorry

Materials:  Copy of handout in PDF at bottom.

Life Skills Prep

  • Copy off enough handouts for each kid – PDF below.
  • Have enough pencils/pens for each kid to write with.

The Activity

  • We all do things from time to time that hurt other people. What do you suppose we should do when we have hurt someone with our words or our actions?
    • Say, “I’m sorry.”
  • Has there ever been a time when you really were not sorry and had to apologize for something? In other words, were you told to apologize for something you felt you didn’t do?
    • Give kids a chance to share and even give some stories of times this happened to them but encourage them not to use names.
  • How did that make you feel? Were you really sorry?
    • Most likely not.
  • How can you tell if someone who has just apologized to you is really sorry about what s/he did?
    • Facial/body expression, actions toward him/her after the apology.
  • Why should you try to settle a dispute or argument with somebody, maybe even someone you don’t like?
    • So we can keep our freedom and reestablish trust with others.
  • As we learned earlier this week, Achan did something that hurt a lot of people. But instead of confessing and apologizing, he hid what he did from everyone, even God.
  • Who remembers how many people got hurt because of his mistake?
    • 36 men died in the battle; he, his whole family, and all his animals were killed.
  • We need to remember that our mistakes can affect other people, not just ourselves. We need to be willing to accept responsibility for our actions and say we are sorry.
  • I am going to hand out a paper that has different kids apologizing for something they did. You need to decide whether or not you think the kid is truly apologizing. Just write “yes” in the line provided next to the kids you think are sincere and “no” in the line provided next to kids you think are not being sincere.
  • Hand out worksheets and pencils to each kid. Give them a couple of minutes to work.
  • Kindergarten thru Second Graders: Have them sit in a circle together. A mentor reads each “callout” (the bubble showing what a person is saying) aloud. See PDF below. The kids listen and circle the “callouts” of the kids who are truly sorry. Remind them that if they copy off of someone else’s paper, they may be wrong.
  • Tell me why you picked the kids you picked for not giving a sincere apology.
    • Did they give an excuse? If so what? Did they take responsibility for their actions? Who did they blame? How did the other kids take care of their problems?
  • Divide the kids into groups of 3-4 and give them each five minutes to come up with their own skit about a mistake someone makes and how they need to apologize. Allow them their own time to be creative, but be sure to walk around the room and help with ideas.
  • Try to blend age groups in this activity as well. It is always good for a sixth grader to learn how to work with a first grader, especially with a subject like this one. When the time is up, bring them all back together in a big group and have each group perform its skit. After each skit, ask the rest of the group what happened and if they felt the apology was sincere or fake.
  • Before we finish today, we are going to pray in our mentor groups. Find your mentor and sit on the floor. Take a moment with your mentor and talk about how you are doing with “taking control” of your feelings. Then I want you to each take a moment and pray for each other. Ask God to help you with confessing when you do something wrong. Ask Him to help you not blame others when you do something wrong, but to accept responsibility for your actions and to help you take control of your feelings.

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