Blue Sky is a visioning exercise that guides participants in identifying what they care about and imagining a better world. Participants are asked to take a look at their group, neighborhood, community, state, nation, and/or the world. They reflect on the way it is and then imagine the way they would like it to be. This activity encourages empathy, compassion, and self-expression. It also helps participants learn to react to a negative situation with a positive action.
- 8½ x 11 blue or white paper (one for each student)
- crayons/markers/colored pencils
- optional: old magazines, scissors, and glue/paste (if doing a collage)
- Discuss the meaning of the term community as it relates to the participants’ experiences (home, school, friends, neighborhood, city, state, country, and world).
- Ask participants to identify what is good about their “community” and what they would like to see improved or changed (prompt discussion with local issue areas of concern, if needed--environment, justice, hunger, schools). Create a chart to fill-in as the group discusses:
What Is Good About Our Community? What Can Be Improved or Changed?
- Ask students to think about what issue areas they care most about.
- Give each person a piece of blue paper.
- Invite participants to portray their ideal world with their issue area repaired, or what they would like their world to look like in ten years. This is what the world/community could look like if everyone worked together. They may write, draw, color, paint, or create collages on their blue paper.
- When the participants are finished, allow each person time to share their creation with the group and talk about why they want this vision.
- Record their ideas on a display board, and ask them to identify and reflect on some of the recurring themes. This can be helpful in identifying the group’s interest areas for planning service projects.
- As a group, briefly brainstorm ideas on how to work toward the visions and discuss possible challenges in achieving “the ideal.”
- Combine the illustrations into a large collage or “quilt.” The collage or quilt may remain on display for the entire school year, so it may be used for future service-learning planning or as a reference during a year-end celebration.
Evaluation and Review:
- Later in the year, ask participants to look at the ideas generated and assess how they are doing on the identified issues.
Periodically check out which issues the group has addressed and which issues are still important and need to be addressed.