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Activity 5: Move It! Peace Songs Parade

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • A copy of Singing the Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook and/or lyrics for the song(s) you will teach
  • Optional: Newsprint, markers and tape
  • Peace pinwheels, made in Activity 4

Preparation for Activity

  • Consult with your minister and director of religious education to set a time and route for a peace parade. Confer with other religious education leaders if you wish to bring the parade into their rooms.
  • Choose peace songs. Simple peace songs in Singing the Living Tradition include "There Is More Love Somewhere" (Hymn 95), "I've Got Peace Like a River" (Hymn 100), "Love Will Guide Us" (Hymn 131), "Circle 'Round for Freedom" (Hymn 155),"We Are a Gentle, Angry People" (Hymn 170), and "Vine and Fig Tree" (Hymn 399). Another is "Peace, Selam, Shalom;" hear it sung by its songwriter, Pat Humphries.
  • Optional: Invite your music director to teach you some peace songs or suggest someone who can help lead this activity.
  • Optional: Prepare handouts with song lyrics for all participants, or write lyrics on newsprint and post.

Description of Activity

Teach the children the peace song(s) you have selected. Practice a few times. Then gather the children in a line with their peace pinwheels. Lead them in singing the peace song(s) while you parade, single file, through your selected route, holding their peace pinwheels. If the route is short, you can walk it multiple times. You may also sing the same song over a few times. When you are finished, return to the room. Invite participants to put aside their peace pinwheels and stand in a circle holding hands to sing a final verse or another round of a peace song.

Including All Participants

Be sure a parade route is fully accessible for anyone who uses a wheelchair or has limited mobility; design the pace and length of route to be fully inclusive.

If anyone in the group or the congregation uses American Sign Language, ask that person to learn the peace song(s) in advance and join the parade to sign when the group sings. Invite this person to teach key ASL words from the song(s) to all of the children, before the parade.

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