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In "Moral Tales," a Tapestry of Faith program
Point to the newsprint and read aloud what you've written. Ask the children whether it was fair or unfair that some of the people in the kingdom had lots of food and some people had very little. Say, in your own words:
In our story, the dog barked because she wanted justice for everyone. She barked to make things fair. She was a watchdog for justice.
In our Unitarian Universalist Principles and Purposes we say that we believe there should be justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, and that we want a world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. One of the things that those principles mean is that Unitarian Universalists think fairness is very important. We believe that when things aren't fair, it's important for us to be like the dog and speak up and try to make things fair.
Explain that you are going to play a game where the children will be watchdogs for justice. Tell them you will name different situations and if something sounds unfair they should bark. You may wish to use your chime, rain stick or other sound instrument as a signal to stop the barking. Start and stop a practice round of barking, before you begin.
Read a situation. If there is any barking, ask the children why they think the situation is unfair. Then engage them in trying to discover ways to make the situation more just.
If there is disagreement about whether something is fair or unfair, give the children a chance to express the different viewpoints.
Use these situations, or add your own:
This activity gives participants an opportunity to think critically about fairness and justice, identifying unjust situations. Acting as watchdogs reinforces the idea that we are all responsible for acting in response to injustice.
There is likely to be economic disparity within the group, and possibly extreme disparity such as a particularly wealthy child alongside a child who is living below the poverty line. Be careful to avoid language that assumes all participants have a common situation and common experiences, such as "we live in big houses," or "we all have lots of food to eat."
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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