people-467438_1920.jpg

POPULAR CULTURE AND CIVIC IMAGINATION TOOLKIT


Characters, Problems, Solutions

NUTS AND BOLTS

Brief Description: Fictional characters come together to tackle real world problems in this activity.

Recommended Age Range: 5+

 

Participants: 2-6 participants (or groups of 2-6 participants)

 

Duration: 45 minutes (in addition to time spent watching media content together)

Materials Needed and Space Requirements:

  • In Person: A pen and colored pencils can be enough. 

  • Internet-Friendly Option: Synchronous video conferencing platform (Facetime, Zoom, Skype, etc).

 

Learning Opportunity: This activity recognizes diversity as crucial to effective decision making.

INSTRUCTIONS

Identify

Each participant identifies a familiar character from a popular culture story (content world) that they like.

 

Each participant should identify a different character!

 

Spend a few minutes jotting down what you know about the character - who are they, what is important to them, how do they behave?

 

Then draw them on the included print out cards.  The drawing could be a sketch of the character. It could also be a drawing of something that evokes them (a symbol, color, shape etc.). 

Share

Once each sketch is complete, everyone should introduce their character. Describe them, their skills, and personality. Then share why you chose them.

 

Set the characters aside for a minute.

Identify

Now have each participant identify a problem or issue that they currently see in their family, neighborhood, school or community. This could be a local concern or a large-scale global one, but it should be something they care about deeply. 

 

Each participant introduces their issue. Once everyone shares, identify one that you want to continue to work with in this activity. You can either make this decision randomly (by rolling a dice) or by voting. 

Imagine

Now imagine that all of your characters are called upon to respond to the issue or problem that you identified.

 

How would the characters work together to solve this problem? 

What would they do?

What could they accomplish?

Share

Work together to create a drawing that represents their adventure!

Print out the printer friendly version of this activity and the toolkit here.

Print the character cards template here.

© 2017 by The Civic Imagination Project