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Alternate Activity 3: What Is Faith? (20 minutes), Session 3: Faith, Hope and Prayer

In "Moral Tales," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Write the word "Faith" on newsprint. Post the newsprint where children can see it while sitting in the storytelling area and you can comfortably write on it.
  • Print out a copy of Leader Resource, Faith Statements. Add your own ideas for statements that you think will work well with the group.

Description of Activity

Gather children in the storytelling area. Indicate the word "Faith" posted on newsprint.

Say, in your own words:

The shah invited the Jewish man to come live in the palace because he showed unwavering faith. Unwavering means it didn't change — he always stayed faithful.

What ideas do you have about what the word "faith" means?

Write answers in simple words or phrases on the newsprint. Allow a few moments for the children to offer answers. Children this age may not have enough prior experience with the word to have ideas about what "faith" means; they will develop understanding during this session. End the brainstorming before children become frustrated or bored. If children's contributions have not produced a working definition of faith, you may offer:

Faith means you believe in something, even if you can't prove it.

Invite the children to stand up and form a line, shoulder to shoulder, facing you. Designate one end of the line as "agree" and the other end as "disagree." Say, in your own words:

We're going to play a quick game about faith. I'm going to make a statement and we're all going to show whether we agree with it or not by where we stand in the line.

Point out the "agree" and 'disagree" ends of the line. Tell the group:

If you really, really agree you can stand all the way at the end, or if you really, really disagree you can go to the other end. You can also stand in the middle or anywhere on the line to show how much you agree or disagree. There is no right or wrong answer, and we will probably each feel differently about every statement. This is just to show what you believe and what you have faith in.

Read the statements on Leader Resource, Faith Statements, giving children time to find a place in the agree/disagree line after each one. After the participants have placed themselves on the line, you can note patterns such as total agreement, widely shared belief, or a situation where few children are sure and most want to stand in the middle. At times, you may ask volunteers to briefly explain why they chose a particular location.

Including All Participants

Allow enough physical space and enough time between statements for any children with limited mobility to fully participate; make sure all children can find a place in the agree/disagree line without feeling rushed.

Some children may become upset if others "disagree" with statements they firmly believe are true. Embrace the teachable moment and remind children that something can be "true for you," even if someone else does not believe it. Becoming aware that they believe strongly in one of the statements made in this activity, and that others do not, can help children learn what "faith" means.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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