In "Moral Tales," a Tapestry of Faith program
Invite volunteers to stand up, and tell the group about an act of goodness they engaged in (or witnessed, if you have offered this option), and place the gem in the glass jar or vase.
Indicate the Moral Compass poster. Mention the virtues that the group has explored in previous sessions. Suggest that the children try to think of some acts of goodness related to these virtues, as they share their gems of goodness.
Encourage newcomers to join the sharing once they've had a chance to see what the other children are doing.
Use these guidelines to organize the sharing:
It is very important to avoid judging participants, either with criticism or praise. Avoid phrases like, "Great job!" or "You're fantastic!" which might encourage the children to compete to share the "best" act of goodness or to perceive that different acts of goodness have greater or lesser value.
Instead, listen carefully to what the children tell you. Help them identify the virtues their acts of goodness represent. When appropriate, indicate a word or phrase on the Moral Compass poster that fits the act of goodness. This will help the children learn to recognize a variety of virtues in a variety of forms.
After each sharing, you may say something like, "Thank you for sharing," followed by a summarizing sentence such as:
Your specific responses to the acts of goodness children share will help them feel pride, a sense of accomplishment, and their own empowerment as agents of justice and goodness.
If children are not volunteering, call out various types of acts of goodness, and invite children to come up if they experienced that particular kind of goodness. You may call out:
When the sharing is finished, remind the children to take home their notebooks and continue to keep track of their acts of goodness.
If you are planning to do so, remind the children that they may mark their achievement with a special celebration when the group has filled the glass jar or otherwise reached an established goal. If the group is approaching the goal, you may wish to brainstorm with them about the celebration. Suggestions might include having a special treat for a snack, or ending early to do physical games outside.
Whatever way you choose to mark the jar being filled, once it has been filled you may empty it and start over again.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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