University of British Columbia – Community Collaboration

Category — Learning Into Practice

Activity #1

In Part 2 of this learning unit, three activities help you apply some of the concepts from the previous section. The templates for the activities can be found in the Appendix section at the end of the unit.

Circle of Courage: Our Families

Objective: To create a community circle of stories collected from the families in your Head Start site. As part of a family night, ask parents to share meaningful stories that tell of experiences and important life lessons about caring for children or one another. Record or write out these stories on a piece of paper. Print them out later on a computer. This family literacy activity will foster inclusion and build community.

  • Introduce the activity through a newsletter or message sent home with children. Let them know that you will ask them to share such a story.
  • Model the activity with a mini poster of your experience/lesson in a place where parents, (other parents), caregivers, and community can view it.
  • The stories can be represented in pictures, words, or artifacts.
  • Arrange the family stories in the shape of a circle onto a bulletin board.
  • Ask families and parents to identify the component of their Circle where the lesson or experience was focused: Belonging, Generosity, Independence, or Mastery.
  • Incorporate the language and colours of the Circle of Courage to show an inclusive community (black-Belonging; white-Independence; red-Mastery, yellow-Generosity).
  • The completed activity can be shared at a PAC meeting where the goals of this learning unit can be shared.
  • Share these life lessons with the children in the Head Start site. Use the stories as an invitation to incorporate ideas introduced in earlier learning units:

o   Photo picture books

o   Oral story telling

o   Felt board stories

o   Elder visits

o   Community building

May 2, 2011   No Comments

Activity #2

Creating a Social Contract

Objective: From the Restitution model you will create a social contract.

It is a process of using effective communication to arrive at a common goal based on community held beliefs and values. The shared picture for the group will emerge from each person’s personal contribution through a process of consensus—which celebrates diversity and views conflict as positive. The focus of the social contract is to build on common values the group identifies towards achieving a goal together.


  • Our ideal program/preschool/community site
  • Our picture of effective communication in the work place
  • Our picture of an effective staff/team as community

The process of arriving at a social contract is more important than the content of the social contract. Here are some consensus building strategies in the process:

  1. Allow each person to share their personal/family beliefs and values that they would like to see incorporated in the Aboriginal Head Start program.
  2. Provide an opportunity for people to ask questions and clarify ideas and words that the person shares. The goal of asking questions is to understand the opinion of others through asking and listening.
  3. Once members of the group have shared their beliefs, decide together on a common goal for the program through a process of consensus. Reach consensus by revising the wording of the beliefs until all people can say they accept the belief.
  4. Relate the beliefs back to basic needs; love, power, freedom, fun and survival to help reduce conflict and achieve agreement.
  5. Spread the process out over two to three meetings with time in between for reflection and informal dialogue. Or, use this process to achieve different goals for children and families.
  6. On a chart, ask participants to visualize and concretize what a belief would “look like, sound like, and feel like”. On the chart you will answer “how”. If the group starts with a question about rules, ask “Why do we have this rule? Refer back to the group beliefs to move on.

May 2, 2011   No Comments

Activity #3


From the Tribes model, this activity engages group members in active listening skills. Compassionate understanding and attentive listening are skills and attitudes that build community and foster inclusion.


1.            Have community sit in a sharing circle.

2.            Instruct the group members that each person will have one minute to tell an event or experience in his or her personal history. Remind the listeners to give full attention (remember body language) without interrupting.

3.            At the completion of the exercise, when every member has shared their one-minute story, ask participants the following:


What did you learn about someone else in this activity?

What would you be able to retell from what a member in the circle shared?

What can we learn when we reflect on experiences in our lives?


How can you tell that others were using effective listening skills?

Why was a minute enough/not enough time to share?

Did the people who shared later in the activity share more or less? Why?


How did you feel about sharing?

Showing Appreciation

Invite statements of appreciation:

“I liked it when you said…”

“I felt good when…”

“I was particularly interested when you…”

May 2, 2011   No Comments