Drops that gather one by one finally form a sea. — Persian proverb
This session emphasizes the idea of strengthening community and working cooperatively with other people. While Unitarian Universalists value individual action, we also know that together we are stronger than the sum of our individual parts. Cooperation is a necessary skill for solving problems peacefully and equitably, and is a part of accepting and supporting one another. The value of cooperation is integrated within the Unitarian Universalist Principles, particularly the Principles of the inherent worth and dignity of every person, acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth, the goal of world community, and respect for the interdependent web of all existence.
In this session the children will hear and act out an Aesop's fable that uses a bundle of sticks to demonstrate the practical and spiritual strength gained by sticking together. They will also engage in a problem-solving role play, "What Would UU Do?" in which they seek cooperative solutions to dilemmas that they might encounter in their own young lives. Finally, there is a simple art activity in which they each make a bundle of sticks to take home. Each stick in the bundle represents a child in the group, and each child's strengths will be honored as part of the whole, as in the story.
Because this is the final session of Moral Tales, you may like to do one or more of the program culminating activities which are offered as alternate activities. One is a team game version of "What Would UU Do?" which uses the Moral Compass poster. If you have not used the Moral Compass poster in your program, you can still do this culminating activity; see Leader Resource, List of Moral Tales Session Topics. The game will reminding the children about the virtues they have explored in Moral Tales and reinforce the idea that to act from goodness and justice, one may need to use all of these traits, and more!
Another suggested culminating activity is for the children to make small, take-home replicas of the Moral Compass. There is also an option to end with a Gems of Goodness party, in which you will honor all of the acts of goodness and justice that children have been part of and shared about during the program. (Make sure you are ready to mention an act of goodness that involves each child in the group.) If you will have a Gems of Goodness celebration, you should skip the Gems of Goodness core activity (Activity 1).
The Faith in Action project, Parrots for Pennies, introduced in Session 15 continues in this session, with options for follow-up activities after Moral Tales ends.
"Cooperation" will be added to the Moral Compass poster.
This session will:
- Increase participants' understanding of our Unitarian Universalist Principles, particularly the inherent worth and dignity of every person, acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth, the goal of world community, and respect for the interdependent web of all existence
- Create a forum for children to share with one another about acts of goodness and justice
- Foster participants' pride in sharing acts of goodness and justice that they have done (or witnessed)
- Demonstrate that individuals gain strength by pooling their strengths with others, and sticking together
- Help participants articulate and appreciate situations in which they have experienced cooperation
- Present opportunities for cooperative problem-solving
- Strengthen participants' Unitarian Universalist identity by demonstrating the connection between the choices we make in our lives and the beliefs and attitudes we hold as Unitarian Universalists, including the Principles and Sources
- Strengthen participants' connection to and sense of responsibility to their Moral Tales group
- Optional: Give participants opportunities to review and apply learning from previous Moral Tales sessions
- Optional: Model the rightness of celebrating a collective accumulation of acts of goodness performed (or witnessed) by members of the group.
- Participate in the "Gems of Goodness" exercise.
- Hear a story that demonstrates the value of individuals banding together
- Share and hear stories of times when they have found strength in numbers
- Experience solving problems cooperatively
- Recognize how their unique strengths contribute to the strength and betterment of the group
- Make a bundle of sticks representing and honoring each child in the group
- Participate in an Opening, a Closing, and a cooperative clean-up with their peers
- Optional: Experience closure of their time in Moral Tales with a culminating closing ritual
- Optional: Revisit virtues on the Moral Compass poster in a problem-solving role play game and/or by making a small, take-home moral compass
- Optional: Celebrate their collective accumulation of acts of goodness performed (or witnessed) by members of the group.
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