Activity 4: Our Own Faith Symbols
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copies of Handout 1, My Faith Symbol for all participants
- An assortment of shapes, cut out from Leader Resource 2, Faith Symbol Shapes
- Pencils and erasers
- Roll of magnetic adhesive tape, and scissors
Preparation for Activity
- Print and photocopy Handout 1, My Faith Symbol, for all participants.
- Print several copies of Leader Resource 2, Faith Symbol Shapes onto heavy card stock for tracing, or onto regular weight paper for photocopying onto heavier paper. Cut out the shapes for children to trace.
- Place tracing shapes, pencils, and erasers on tables where participants will work.
- Review and print out Leader Resource 3, Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Faith for Children.
Description of Activity
Learning to articulate one's beliefs is an important goal of Unitarian Universalist religious education for all ages. In this activity, children create symbols to represent their individual faiths based on simple shapes.
Before asking children to choose or create symbols to represent their faith, first lead a discussion to help them shape a working idea of what faith is. Refer to Leader Resource 3: Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Faith in Children's Language.
Ask the group:
Does anyone know what "faith" means?
Allow some responses, if any are forthcoming. Then tell the children, in these words or your own:
Your faith has to do with the things you believe are true, and the way you try to live your life. Children your age are not too young to have some ideas about your faith. Today you have a chance to think about some of the things you believe in, and the ways you think it is important to live every day. Then, you will choose or create a symbol for your own, personal faith.
Adult Unitarian Universalists agree on a few things we believe and value. Some of these ideas may be part of your faith. Listen carefully and see if there are any you especially agree with.
Slowly read aloud the Principles from Leader Resource 3, pausing after each.
Invite the group:
Does anyone want to mention one of these ideas that sounded pretty good to you? One that is part of what you believe?
Arrange participants at worktables and distribute Handout 1, My Faith Symbol. Hold up a blank handout and show the children where they can write their names. Help those who need help. Point out that the middle of the handout is empty. Before they begin tracing and drawing, the children may investigate the shapes on their tables.
Invite them to choose one or more shapes that mean something to them to trace onto their handout. Tell them you will come around to speak with each child individually and will be glad to hear about their faith symbol or help them if they do not yet have an idea about what their faith symbol could be. You may say:
Please choose shapes that remind you of your faith. When I come over to you, be ready to tell me why you picked the shape you picked to be your personal faith symbol. If you are still deciding, I will be glad to help you think about which shapes could be in your faith symbol.
Visit each child. Be sure that on the children's names are on the handouts. Help those who have not written their names. Ask each child to tell you why he/she chose the shape(s) they did for a faith symbol. Print the child's spoken words on the handout, in the space provided at the bottom.
Press a short strip of magnetic tape onto the back of each handout. Invite the children to display their faith symbols on their refrigerators at home.