Blue Sky Envisioning Activity
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.
- student copies of the Blue Sky Activity Worksheet below (or blue paper)
- 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 the Blue Sky Activity Worksheet or a piece of blue paper.
- Invite participants to portray their ideal world with their issue area repaired. "What would the world look like in ten years with this issue repaired?" This is what the world/community could look like if everyone worked together. They may write, draw, color, paint, or create collages on their 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.
Reflection and Next Steps
- 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, discuss first steps or ideas on how to work toward the visions.
- You may discuss possible challenges in achieving “the ideal,” but focus on what tiny steps we can take right now. This may include the following:
- meet with nonprofits,
- investigate needs,
- tell others about the issue or things they can do,
- change habits, or
- collect resources to help others.
- Share your ideas on social media. Take pictures of students holding their illustrations of their visions. Tell what first step they will take together.
- Use the planning tool below to help you connect learning and service around the issues your students care about. Find Learning to Give lessons related to your planning: use search terms related to academic or philanthropy goals, service project ideas, issues, or community resources.
- Combine the Blue Sky 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.
- 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.
Share progress on social media to celebrate what you're doing and join with others who have similar Blue Sky visions. Use #LTGBlueSky or #Teach1