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How do you know that the children are connecting spiritually to the process?

It is natural for teachers to want to know if children are "getting" the ideas that they are presenting. With arts activities that express children's spirit, we need to let go of this expectation. You may never know how particular children connect this activity to their own meaning-making. What you are doing is giving them the tools to create meaning; how they use those tools is up to them. Some children will need more time to process than is allowed in class. The arts slow us down to experience and create meaning as active participants. It is spiritual if the activity connects the child's own feelings or ideas to the class's theme.

Having said this, there are signs that indicate that a child is connecting to the activity and making their own meaning:

  • Engagement in the materials or activity that shows involvement in the process
  • Hesitation in coming out of the activity or wanting more time
  • Quiet or sharing with a person near them
  • Observable connection in their response to the activity, whether a painting or a dance

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.