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Alternate Activity 2: Finger Play

Activity time: 5 minutes

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the list of people in the Description of Activity so you will be comfortable sharing the pronunciations and descriptions with the group.

Description of Activity

This activity acquaints participants with the names of historic figures in our faith heritage.

Gather participants. Read the list of names aloud, one at a time, asking the group to repeat each name after you so they become familiar with the pronunciation. You may also read the brief description of each person.

  • King John Sigismund, first Unitarian ruler of a people
  • Michael Servetus, first Unitarian killed for his beliefs
  • Francis David, leader of Transylvanian Unitarians
  • Joseph Priestley, Unitarian clergyman and scientist, discoverer of oxygen
  • John Murray, founder of American Universalism
  • Hosea Ballou, Universalist minister and friend of Nathaniel Stacy
  • Nathaniel Stacy, Universalist traveling preacher
  • Maria Cook, first Universalist woman to preach in a Universalist church
  • William Ellery Channing, first Unitarian minister stating principles of Unitarianism
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Unitarian minister and public lecturer
  • Henry David Thoreau, Unitarian writer
  • Theodore Parker, Unitarian minister and abolitionist
  • Olympia Brown, first woman ordained by a church
  • Joseph Jordan, first African American ordained as a Universalist
  • Clara Barton, Universalist who established the Red Cross
  • James Reeb, Unitarian Universalist minister killed in Civil Rights protest
  • Margaret Fuller, Unitarian writer and women's rights advocate
  • Dorothea Dix, Unitarian who worked for prisoners' and mentally ill persons' rights

Lead the children to use the hand gestures and tune of "Where is Thumbkin?" In place of "Thumbkin," shout out different names of each historic person. Sing about some or all of the famous Unitarians and Universalists listed above.

Including All Participants

Do not use the hand gestures if any children are unable to participate in that way; you can just sing the song.

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