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Activity 3: What Is Community?
Activity time: 12 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Optional: Fidget basket (see Session 1, Leader Resource 4)
Preparation for Activity
- Post a sheet of newsprint and write "COMMUNITY" in the center.
- Look up a dictionary definition of "community."
- Optional: If you have a basket of fidget objects for children who will listen and learn more effectively with something in their hands, make the basket available during this activity. See Session 1, Leader Resource 4, Fidget Objects for a full description of fidget baskets and guidance for using them.
Description of Activity
Gather the group and say, in your own words:
Jesus preached that community is important. He did so with his message of love. When he gathered his disciples to help him teach, Jesus was creating community.
Ask the children if they know what a community is. Can they give examples? A community can be a neighborhood, a school, a classroom at school, friends at work (for adults), Girl Scout or Campfire clubs, and sports teams. A community can also be a congregation or a religious education group.
Now ask the children: What is a community? What does it have? Invite them to think about the communities they gave as examples. List attributes that various communities share. Add, if they do not suggest:
- People who feel they have something in common
- People who work together
- People who play on a team together
- People who live near each other
- People who like/need/believe/care about some of the same things.
Ask participants to think of ways their group is a community. Add any new ideas to the list.
Use the list and the definition of "community" you found to summarize a definition of a community that applies to this group. You may choose talk about what it means to be part of a community: Why does someone choose to be in Scouts? Do they feel their neighborhood is a community? How? Why do we choose certain communities and not others? Can we be in more than one community (e.g., your family, your neighborhood, your school, your congregation)? Does everyone in a community have to think alike? Look alike?
Now ask the group:
- Do you think community was important to Jesus? How did he show his followers ways to love others in their community?
- Can you name an example of community from the story we told?
Including All Participants
For participants who may lose focus during this discussion, provide the fidget basket.