Blue Sky Envisioning Activity
Introduction to Philanthropy
Get to know yourself and the people you interact with and what they care about with this group envisioning activity. The participants envision their community in ten years and describe what it looks like with an issue they care about fixed. Then discuss the first steps they can take toward their vision.
Blue Sky is a visioning activity that helps you get to know yourself (self awareness) and the people around you (social awareness) and what you all care about. Participants imagine a better world in ten years with an issue they care about "fixed." This activity encourages positive thinking, empathy, compassion, and self-expression. It also helps participants learn to react to a negative situation with a positive action.
- 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)
- definition of community: A group of people living in the same area and under the same government; a group having common interests and goals and who work together
- Discuss the meaning of the term community as it relates to the participants’ experiences (home, school, friends, interest area, neighborhood, city, state, country, and world).
- Identify what community they are going to focus on, such as your classroom, club, school, local community, or state. They may alternatively focus on a place or event for their visioning.
- Create a group chart to fill in as the group discusses the strengths and challenges of the community. (Participants may write these ideas quietly before sharing as a group):
Make a Chart:
- Ask participants what they care most about from this brainstormed chart. Discuss.
- Each person may write, draw, color, paint, or create collages on the Blue Sky Activity Worksheet or a piece of blue paper. "What would [the community] look like in 10 years with this issue fixed?" This is the "end goal" of what the community could look like if everyone worked together.
- When the participants are finished, allow each person time to share their creations with the group and talk about what it is like and why they want this vision.
- Then imagine it is ten years from now and that blue sky vision is real. Talk in the past tense about what we did to get there.
Reflection and Next Steps:
- As a group, discuss the first steps or ideas on how to work toward the visions. This can be helpful in identifying the group’s interest areas for planning service projects. Think about the timeline for action.
- Focus on any small steps youth can take right now. This may include the following:
- meet with nonprofits
- investigate needs
- tell others about the issue or things they can do (be an advocate)
- change habits
- collect resources to help others
- Share your ideas on social media. Take pictures of each person holding their illustrations of their visions. Tell what first step they will take together. Share progress on social media to celebrate what you're doing and join with others who have similar Blue Sky visions. @LearningtoGive
- 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.
- Use the planning tool below to help you connect learning and service around the issues participants care about.
- Find Learning to Give resources related to your planning: use search terms related to the issue or community resources.
- Later in the year, ask participants to look at the ideas generated and assess how they are doing on the identified issues.