Cultivating Moral And Spiritual Values
Lesson #2: Maturity 101 – Flour Babies (ages 12 and up); a project we’ve adapted from other sources
Life Skill Charts that can be used as supplements: Expanding Sensitivity, Building Will power.
Purpose: This activity helps teenagers gain experience in taking responsibility, as well as getting a glimpse of what it’s like to be a parent. It works best when the activity is a part of an ongoing, graded class (Health, Family Life, etc.)
Materials needed for each student: 5 pound sack of flour, plastic bag, duct tape, baby clothes from thrift store
Preliminary Activities: Creating the Baby
Place the flour sack in plastic bag.
Create a head by rolling rags or strips of an old sheet.
Use duct tape to seal seal the bag and position the head.
Make sure the baby is still fragile and needs careful attention.
Pick out clothes and place on the baby (duct tape can help)
Can’t be cruel or ugly, emphasize compassion
Fill out a Birth Certificate with name, parents, address, etc.
Male/Female pick via chance
For more variety/challenge use special cards – twins, premature, blind…
For the coming week, each student will be in charge of a “flour baby”. They will bring their babies to school each day and take them home at night and over the weekend. The baby can never be left unattended for more than 10 minutes. Students can arrange for babysitters (parents, friends, etc.) on a hire, trade, or volunteer basis.
- If you bring your baby back at the end of the week undamaged, emotionally cared for, and physically intact, you have completed the project. But if your baby is damaged, you will need to continue the assignment for a second week or longer. Grades for the project will reflect the student’s level of responsibility.
- A kidnapping occurs when a teacher (not a student) takes possession of the baby and is able to leave the room unnoticed. The first and second occurrences serve as a reminder to pay closer attention. The third strike means you have another week of baby care.
- If you think there are extenuating circumstances, you can challenge one or more of the kidnappings by petitioning to have your case heard at Baby Court. You must have a completed form with signatures from 5 students who agree that you have a case. You will make your presentation in front of a teacher/judge and a jury consisting of students who have not been the victim of a kidnapping. Jury can increase or decrease consequences (instead of extra week only a day, etc.), after hearing evidence. If there is a conviction, the judge can opt to have the signers help the plaintiff care for the baby during extension, helping students realize the importance of thinking before signing.
When you have completed the assignment, you will need to complete a Reflection questionnaire as part of receiving credit for the project.