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Activity 2: Group Covenant
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Post newsprint where the children can easily see it. Write "Our Covenant" across the top.
- Optional: If this group has already established a covenant, make sure it is posted in the meeting space. Rather than create a new covenant, use this time to remind the children of their existing covenant and point out the connection between covenants and interdependence, as guided below.
Description of Activity
In this activity, children take responsibility for helping to determine what behavior is expected in the group. All participants and leaders agree to abide by the covenant. Note: If your group has already established a covenant you may wish to skip this activity and simply point out the covenant you have agreed to and the connection covenants have to interdependence as described below.
Gather the group in a circle. Explain:
"Interdependence" means that what one person does affects everyone around them.
- What would happen if one person in the room started throwing things?
- How about if someone was giving out candy?
Explain that the group is going to create a covenant to say how we will treat each other. Tell the children a covenant is a promise and the covenant they create will be a promise everyone in the group, including the leaders, will make about how they will treat each other. If your congregation has a covenant, tell the children.
Invite the children to make suggestions about what they would like as a part of their covenant. As needed, offer ideas, such as taking turns, sharing, being kind, listening to one another, etc. Whenever possible use phrases that promote positive behavior rather than banning inappropriate behaviors. For example, instead "no hitting," say "treat everyone gently and kindly." Write the ideas on the newsprint.
When you have a covenant that everyone agrees to, have each person sign their first name on the bottom of the covenant. Tell the group that by signing the covenant they are promising to do what it says. For the duration of the program, if a participant behaves in a way that is inconsistent with the covenant, leaders can point to the covenant and remind the child that they are not living up to their promise, redirecting them toward the appropriate behavior.
Save the covenant in your religious education space to display each time the group meets.
Including All Participants
As needed, help children write their names.