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Every congregation has its own approach to structuring religious education. You can implement the Moral Tales program with any model your congregation uses.
As leader, you will choose the combination of activities for each session. You know best how to shape the Moral Tales program to fit your congregation's religious education model, the culture of your congregation, the children in the group and the time and space allocated for each session.
Moral Tales offers many ways to expand activities to include the larger congregation. Before you begin this program, talk with your minister or director of religious education about ways to integrate Moral Tales into intergenerational experiences. For example, you could have a month during which everyone in the congregation collects Gems of Goodness. During the worship service, a few volunteers could share about the actions represented by their gems. Another possibility would be to design a "WWUUD," or "What Would UU Do," intergenerational worship service in which everyone would receive a WWUUD bracelet. These ideas are described more fully in Sessions 11 and 16.
Many of the Faith in Action activities in Moral Tales are designed to involve the larger congregation. Participants' learning in Moral Tales will be reinforced by activities that create bonds between the generations in your congregation.
Session 9 includes an activity based on sharing an activity time with younger children. Be sure to arrange this well in advance with the leaders responsible for the younger group, so it is mutually convenient.
Some activities call for adult visitors. Arrange visits at least a few weeks in advance and confirm the arrangements a week before the session. For the Gems of Goodness activity, you can invite parents to come in to describe an act of goodness or justice that their child has done. You may wish to engage a musical volunteer or a congregational member with arts and crafts skills to participate in particular aspects of a session.
While the planning takes time and effort, visits offer valuable opportunities for children to interact with adults in the congregation and the wider community whom they might not otherwise meet. As their circle of Unitarian Universalist role models widens, children will gain a sense of belonging in their faith home and begin to imagine themselves as adults in the congregation.
An alternate activity in Session 1, We Are All One, requires you to take the group outdoors for a nature walk. Also, some of the games suggested in various sessions would work well outdoors, depending on weather and the availability of a suitable location. Identify outdoor locations well in advance, obtain necessary permissions to take the children there, and arrange for additional adults to accompany the group, if necessary. Make sure you will not disturb others in the outdoor space at the time you plan to go there. Plan to bring water and snacks. Check ahead for insects and poisonous plants.
Within the sessions, you will find suggestions for adaptation. Feel free to add your own. Choose what you feel is best for your space, time, and group. Remember, you are the best guide for these young learners.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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