Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    COMMUNITY BUILDER: Inside-Out Teen Self Portraits

    Looking for a way to personalize your youth space and help teens learn more about each other? Try this creative activity which encourages youth to share who they are on the inside.

    This activity is designed to help your teens celebrate their identity as beloved children of God and to share something about themselves with the rest of your group.  Begin by using an overhead projector to help you cast a shadow of each teen's profile onto a sheet of black paper taped to the wall. Have the youth help trace each person's portrait in pencil onto the black paper.

    Next, invite teens to cut out their silhouette from the black paper (using one continuous cut),  paper clip the silhouette to a sheet of white paper, and trace their profile onto that paper. 

    Now the fun part: encourage the youth to show who they really are on the inside (their likes, dislikes, thoughts, dreams, doubts, fears, gifts, questions, loves) by filling in their "head" with glued on magazine images that reflect their identity.  No need to stay completely in the lines on this part of the project because the last step is to glue the black negative cut-away piece back onto the silhouette to create a black background for their portrait.  To extend this activity, invite youth to use gel pens or white colored pencils to write words on the black background.  You may also want to invite youth ahead of time to bring photos or copies of photos from home that they may want to use in their collage.

    Close by reading together Psalm 139: 1-18 and sharing together your thoughts on what it means to say that God knows us intimately and loves us completely.  How should this understanding affect how we live with and love others?