Please work with the Religious Educator in your congregation to craft a lesson that will work well:
Meet with the RE Committee
- Discuss ways to get the children involved in the service.
- Processional – for example use flags representing different countries in the UN, or “Let There Be Peace on Earth” banners
- Include an activity during Time for All Ages.
- Other involvement: reading opening words, passing out pencils, perform short skit, etc.
- Email the parents about what the children are doing and when.
- Invite teachers to incorporate sections from our “UN Me Religious Education Curriculum” into their classes a Sunday or two prior to—as well as on—UN Sunday.
- Contact the Youth Group advisors to invite Youth to participate in the planning and execution of this event.
Constructing a Lesson Involving Climate and Food Justice
We encourage all congregations to fully engage all members in UN Sunday. Please refer to our Religious Education Packet, “UN Me” available on our website. In the next section, we have some suggestions specifically based around our 2021 theme of Climate and Food Justice.
RE teachers should start by educating themselves through our resource section on current work of the UN on food justice issues. Use some of the text or resources to draft a brief lesson that will work for your class. After the lesson, engage the children in an activity/ craft. A few activities to connect children with these issues are suggested in the next section (Activities and Curricula). Possible craft suggestions are in the UU@UN RE packet, “UN Me”. Additionally, links to further lesson possibilities from the Tapestry of Faith program are listed in the next section.
Following the craft, we suggest reading a book; please feel free to choose from the list below. (This is often a good time for a snack.) A powerful way to end the class is to prompt the young people to connect what they have learned to the seven UU Principles. Perhaps you can have guest speakers in October from the congregation (consider youth, young adults, adults, and seniors). See Part 2: Seminar Theme for more ideas about the topic.
A few children’s books related to the subject of climate and food justice. You can find them at your local bookstore by following the links provided after each book and entering your zip code on each page, or visit your local library (or its website) to borrow a hard copy or e-book.
A Day with Yayah
A Day with Yayah, Words by Nicola Campbell, Illustrated by Julie Lett, published by Crocodile Books, 2018. Set in the Nicola Valley, British Columbia, in Canada's westernmost province, a First Nations family goes on an outing to forage for herbs and mushrooms. A grandmother passes down her knowledge of plant life and the natural world to her young grandchildren.
The Water Walker
The Water Walker, written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson, Second Story Press, 2017: This book shares the story of an Ojibwe grandmother who advocates for the protection of water.
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and The Recycling Women of the Gambia
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and The Recycling Women of the Gambia, by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, published by Millbrook Press, 2015: This book tells the story of how one woman began a recycling movement.
We Are Water Protectors
We Are Water Protectors, written by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade, published by Roaring Brook Press, 2020: Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, this bold and lyrical picture book issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption. Available for purchase from inSpirit, the UUA bookstore and gift shop!
For other incredible children’s books, check out Flamingo Rampant, a micropress that produces “feminist, racially-diverse, LGBTQ positive children’s books in an effort to bring visibility and positivity to the reading landscape of children everywhere.” Their books, written and illustrated by people who are queer, trans, and/or people of color, address topics like racial justice, disability pride, LGBTQ+ families, and more through a lens of celebration, adventure, and love!