Activity 4: We Covenant Together
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Post the newsprint where all participants can see it.
- If the group includes children who may have difficulty understanding or keeping the group covenant, talk with your DRE about your concerns.
Description of Activity
The children will make a group covenant, demonstrating how they can share the intangible gift of covenant with one another. Help them create a safe space by making behavioral agreements that result in a place where everyone is welcome and knows what behaviors are accepted.
Gather the children in a circle. Explain that they will give one another the intangible gift of covenant. Ask them how they think they can give and receive this gift. Invite responses. Then say:
We are going to work together to think of some promises we can make to one another. These promises will be our group covenant every time we are together.
We come to Wonderful Welcome to learn about our Unitarian Universalist faith and how we are part of it. We are also here to have fun. What do we need in our group, to learn and have fun together?
If the children do not identify the following two conditions that foster everyone's learning and fun, mention them:
- Every child feels safe.
- Every child feels valued (others respect and care about them).
Explain that they will now make their own covenant. You might say:
We have talked about the covenant which Unitarians and Universalists made when they joined two religions together. And we have talked about how covenants help us play games together. Now we will make a covenant with each other. We will make some rules we can all agree with, some promises about how we will behave when we are together in Wonderful Welcome.
Allow children to contribute their ideas and record all ideas on newsprint. As the leader, you are also part of the group. You will be adding to the agreement as well. For example, children may say things like, "No hitting," and "No punching." You may also add, "Listen to the leaders." Children may ask, "What happens if someone breaks the covenant?" Ask them what they think should happen. You might say:
If someone does break our covenant, we will stop what we are doing and review our covenant. We will talk again about what the covenant is and why we have it.
If you plan to do Session 3, Forgiveness, tell the children they will have a chance to talk more about consequences at another meeting.
Including All Participants
Speak with your religious educator before this session if you think there may be children with special needs or behavior issues that may make it hard for them to understand and/or keep a group covenant. Work with staff to have a strategy for successfully including all participants, for example, enlisting a youth or adult helper assigned to a child who needs help.