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Alternate Activity 2: Talking Stick Practice

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • A talking stick made in Activity 3, or another decorated or plain stick

Preparation for Activity

  • Choose an issue related to the group or the congregation that is not too complicated for this age group to discuss-for example, what kind of snack would be good at coffee hour or their favorite song to sing in worship.

Description of Activity

Participants practice using a talking stick to help them take turns in a discussion.

Gather the group in a circle around a table or on the floor. Briefly tell the participants what the subject is and let them know that everyone may give their opinion. Remind them that they are only allowed to speak when they are holding the talking stick.

Ask for a volunteer to be the first speaker. Hand them the stick and invite them to express their thoughts on the subject briefly. Then ask them to pass the stick to the person next to them so they can take their turn. Remind the group, as needed, that no one else may talk while another participant is holding the stick. Once everyone has had a chance to speak, take back the talking stick and set it aside. Ask the group:

  • How did it feel to have to be quiet and listen?
  • What did it feel like to hold the stick?
  • Did it feel like everyone listened?
  • Are there other times they wish they could use a talking stick when they have something to say? At home, at school, or with their friends? Or where else?

Including All Participants

Allow participants to pass, but encourage them to say something about the subject if they can, even if it is not an opinion but simply a question or statement so they can hold the stick and be listened to by other participants.

If a participant cannot hold the stick, ask the child who is passing it to them to set it on their lap or in their hand.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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