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Activity 1: Who Believes What? (10 minutes), Session 6: Thinking of Death

In "Riddle and Mystery," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Leader Resource 1, Matching Belief Systems and Statements
  • Leader Resource 2, Belief Systems and Statements — Leader Key
  • Optional: Tape or pins to fasten paper to clothing

Preparation for Activity

  • Print out Leader Resource 1. Cut the 11 belief system names and the matching 11 belief statements into 22 individual slips. For this activity, you will give each youth either the name of a belief system OR a belief statement. You need not use all the slips, but make sure you distribute pairs; be sure to include "Unitarian Universalism" and the belief statement that goes with it.
  • Print out Leader Resource 2 (the leader key).
  • If you wish, you may wish to have masking tape to fasten the Belief Systems and Statements to participants' backs.

Description of Activity

This activity teaches participants Unitarian Universalist ideas about what happens after death in the context of other major philosophic and religious ideas.

Distribute slips of paper with Belief System descriptions and Belief Statements, making sure you distribute both parts of any pair you use. Give each participant one slip. If you have an uneven number of participants, an adult can participate.

For a fun challenge, fasten a Belief System or Belief Statement on each youth's back and invite the group to form correct pairs without talking. They will realize they need to gently guide one another toward possible appropriate partners.

Some of the Belief Statements are fairly similar. The youth will need to negotiate until everybody is satisfied they have it right.

Once the pairs are together, present the correct matches using Leader Resource 2, adding information from the leader key and your own knowledge, but note that few sixth graders will be ready to take in and process all that you might know.

If some pairs are not matched correctly; explain that different belief systems share some ideas about what happens when we die. Note that religious belief systems are complicated, and this activity simplifies them to make basic differences clear.

Say you will spend the rest of the session finding out more about what Unitarian Universalists—including the participants—believe happens when we die.

Intergenerational Variation

If the group is large and parents/caregivers are present, invite the adults to carry or wear the slips of paper with Belief Systems and Belief Statements. Ask the entire group to keep silence while youth move the adults into their proper matches.

Including All Participants

Respect physical abilities of all participants by setting the activity up to be comfortable for all. People with mobility limitations may still enjoy moving around.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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