As students enter the classroom, hand out paper, pencils, a writing surface, and blindfolds to each. Ask them to write their name at the top of their page, but to leave the rest blank for now. After all your students have arrived, ask them to sit in a circle and don the blindfolds. Explain that they are going to draw a face on their page with the help of their classmates. Each person will draw one facial feature as the page is passed to them while blindfolded. Mention that there will be a small prize for the best drawing.
Have each student (while blindfolded) draw an oval on their page for the shape of a face. Have them pass their paper to the right. Now (while still blindfolded) have them draw a right ear on the face and then pass it to the right. Now draw a left ear; pass it on. Now the hair; pass it on. Continue until the pictures have eyes, a nose, and a mouth. If the pictures have not made it around the circle to their original owner, continue adding features (hat, a scarf, freckles, etc.) until each student ends up with the page that contains their name at the top.
Have everyone take off their blindfolds and share their drawings. Because no one could see the appropriate places where the facial features belonged, the results should be pretty comical. Decide on which drawing is the best but hand out a small candy or other prize to every student since they all had a hand in drawing it. Ask the ones who did not win the following:
- Did you do your very best on each drawing as it came to you? (Answers will probably be yes, but you might get a prankster who tried to sabotage the others.)
- Since you didn’t win, are you frustrated with the others who worked on your drawing? Why or why not? (Students may respond yes, they thought the others didn’t try hard enough or no, their classmates couldn’t help it because of the blindfolds.)
Just like in this drawing exercise, all of us mess up now and then. In real life, every human being has done something he or she wishes they could erase. It is embarrassing to admit some of the things we have said and done including, perhaps, ways we have hurt other people.
- What kinds of things do kids your age do or say that hurt other people? (Answers will vary.)
- What is your first response when someone hurts you? (Answers will vary.)
Sometimes people hurt others without meaning to, and other times the hurtful actions or words are intentional.
- What is the difference in how you respond to someone who did not hurt you on purpose versus how you respond to someone who meant to hurt you? (Answers will vary; forgiveness is more likely when the hurt is determined unintentional.)
Naturally we want others to forgive us when we hurt them, but it can be a challenge to be the one who has to do the forgiving, especially if the person who did something wrong to us did it on purpose. Joseph’s brothers meant to harm him. Let’s see how Joseph responded.