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Facilitation Technique Category: Moral Development Discussions

Title: Song Discussion

Source: Dattilo, J., & McKenney, A. (2016). Facilitation techniques in therapeutic recreation
(3rd ed.). State College, PA: Venture.
Equipment: Comfortable seated area in a circle, music player, speakers, lyric sheet
Activity Description:
The purpose of this activity is to challenge participants to examine their thinking about
moral issues such as social norms, conscience, life, and truth. Through this technique,
individuals will have the opportunity to express this in song. To begin this activity, have
individuals sit in a circle. Inform him/her that you will be playing a song for him/her. Let them
know that they will be able to stand up and move around the proximity of the room when the
song begins to play if they wish. However, also inform individuals that it is also acceptable for
them to stay seated. Next, play the song, Dont Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. Once
the song has finished playing, inform the individuals that they will listen to it one more time, this
time following along with a copy of the lyric sheet. Encourage participants to sing along if they
are comfortable. Once the song has finished playing, a guided discussion will follow.
The guided discussion can consider the message of the song, how this relates to the
participants morals, and if he/she actively strives to portray the message in the song in his/her
daily life. This can be completed in a group of 1 facilitator to about 10 participants. Some
discussion questions that may be facilitated after listening to the song include, What do you
think the definition of moral development is?, What is a time that you feel most happy?, Is it
ok to see someone who is unhappy and just ignore them?
Leadership considerations:
The leader of this activity should have multiple questions that could be asked at any point
in the discussion. The facilitator should be aware of the population that he/she will be working
with and be prepared with a few alternative ideas should the activity not go as intended. The
facilitator should guide the discussion, providing thought provoking comments, and questions.
The questions and comments provided should bring about discussion and not just be a yes or no
answer. The leader and other employees should make sure the environment feels safe and
comfortable for sharing for all the participants.
Participants with Oppositional Defiant Disorder:
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is characterized by outward-directed behaviors, such as
aggressiveness, noncompliance, over-activity, and impulsivity. Symptoms may vary by case,
however children and adolescents with this disorder may present as losing their temper, arguing
with adults, deliberately annoying others, and showing negative, malicious or vindictive
behavior, or blaming others. It is important for this population to have clear, predictable, and
administered consistently rules. Provide a picture schedule and printouts of the song lyrics so the
individual can see the order of the activities and predict what will happen next.
Participants with Autism:

One of the highest and most predominant pervasive developmental disorder diagnoses
today amongst children is a neurological condition onset from early childhood, known as the
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism affects a persons ability to communicate,
understand language, play and relate to others (Robertson, T., & Long, T. (2008)). With
individuals who have Autism, if the individual is nonverbal, and does not know how to read,
provide picture cues that can assist in reading the lyrics, as well as present images of the
activities in sequential order and using First, Then statements. Through targeted activities,
participants will learn effective ways of communicating with others. Be cognizant of the amount
of sensory stimulation in the environment, try to reduce the amount of sensory information for
the individual.
Adaptations References:

Porter, H. R. (2015). 25. Oppositional Defiant Disorder and

Conduct Disorder.
In Recreational Therapy for Specific Diagnoses and
Conditions (pp. 141-151). Enumclaw, WA: Idyll Arbor.
A Guide To Oppositional Defiant Disorder - SBBH. (n.d.).
Retrieved October 18, 2016, from