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Activity 1: Group Behavior Covenant (5 minutes), Session 1: The Journey Begins

In "Faithful Journeys," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Write "Covenant" at the top of a sheet of newsprint and post it where you can write on it while leading a discussion.
  • Plan for an adult to take the newsprint after the session and compile a covenant document for children and co-leaders to sign next time you meet. If your group will not do Session 2, reserve five minutes in your next session for Session 2, Activity 2, Signing the Behavior Covenant.

Description of Activity

Making a covenant empowers children to take responsibility for their individual and collective behavior in Faithful Journeys, and helps create a safe place for learning.

Ask if any of the children know what a covenant is. Affirm/tell them it is a promise that people agree on together. Explain that the group will list the behaviors they think will help create a positive learning environment in Faithful Journeys. Then everyone, including co-leaders, will covenant to use these behaviors. Ask:

What behaviors will help our group be a place where everyone feels safe, feels welcome, and is able to learn and have fun?

Write children's suggestions on newsprint. Prompt, if needed, with: listening to one another other, including everybody, sharing, taking turns, helping one another, keeping our hands to ourselves, or kindness. Help children reframe "don'ts" (don't insult others, don't steal, don't lie) as desirable behaviors (use kind words, respect others' property, be honest).

When ideas stop flowing or the list seems complete, tell the children you will include their suggestions in a group behavior covenant for everyone in Faithful Journeys, including co-leaders, to sign next time the group meets. Say:

When you sign the covenant, it means you agree to promise the rest of us that you will follow it.

Assure the children that if anyone ever feels the covenant is being broken, they can talk to a leader, who will make sure the matter is resolved.

Note: Keep this exercise brief. If children are not engaged in the process, be sure the most important rules are included and then move on to the next activity.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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