Watch the film again to identify a list of all the points where Mark has a decision to make. You can do this as small group discussions or as a whole group.
In small groups, invite group members to pick one decision and discuss the following:
- Did Mark make the right decision in that moment?
- What could have influenced his decision?
- What could have allowed him to make a different decision?
- What alternative choices does Mark have?
- What difference would it have made if he chose your alternative?
Now invite each group to present back their results to each other.
Using either the template provided below or this excellent storyboard software (access to IT is required) ask group members to create the alternative Mark's Story. There are different ways to do this:
Focus on one scene and create an alternative story
Think about what could have happened before
Explore what happened next
Create a positive ending
We have also provided the original script (below) to guide you.
This is a great opportunity to unleash young people's creative talents and to support them to build their confidence and develop new skills. For example
- Using the storyboard software will introduce the group to new resources that can be useful for all forms of storytelling. If you create a short cartoon strip the group can perform it scene by scene.
- Script writing is a great way to develop literacy skills and think about the difference between writing a story, writing for a cartoon and writing dialogue for a play.
- It's a good opportunity to explore how one decision leads to another and how little things can make a big difference to whether there is a positive or negative ending.
Remember to stay focussed on the purpose of the exercise. You want group members to realise that although things seem bad for Mark, there is always an alternative. It's unlikely that Mark wanted his night to end that way. Young people need to know the options they have and trust themselves to do the right thing.
This exercise explores forces for and against change using a technique called 'Force Field Analysis'.
Use this to encourage group members to think about things they want to change or achieve in their own lives. For example:
- You can start by thinking back to Mark's story. What could he do to change his situation?
- They group might feel that they share some of the issues Mark is dealing with, like friends putting pressure on them or falling out with people in their neighbourhood or at school. What do they want to change or improve about that situation?
- It's good to think about things you can do in your life to make yourself feel good. You can mind-map things the group think they can do to make themselves feel better.
- You could ask the group to think about small acts of kindness which they could do for others, that would have a good effect on them as individuals.
Remember research shows that when we help others it releases chemicals which have a good effect on our brain and helps to build our resilience. It may be possible to look at volunteering roles in your own setting or invite the local volunteer centre to come and talk to the group about local opportunities.
To learn from something, whether it's good or bad we have to be able to reflect back on it and use what we have learned to influence decisions we make and things we do in the future. Use the worksheet below to guide young people through a reflective exercise.
It's important that you explain to group members the benefits of doing this type of exercise for example:
- It is a recognised technique that is being used more and more in job interviews that helps you describe your qualities and experience.
- It helps us think about what we are learning.
- We can ask questions of ourselves like what could we have done better, what might we do the next time?
- It makes it clear that getting things wrong is as important as getting things right. If we reflect on them in a positive way then we open our minds to new opportunities and we're more likely to stop making the same mistakes over and over again.